WikiLeaks cable: NZ urges UN Security Council reform

October 28, 2004
NZ urges UN Security Council reform, but safeguards its own candidacy

SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND URGES UN SECURITY COUNCIL REFORM, BUT
SAFEGUARDS ITS OWN CANDIDACY


Classified By: POLITICAL COUNSELOR KATHERINE B. HADDA, FOR REASONS 1.5(
B,D)

1. (SBU) The Government of New Zealand is strongly in favor
of UN Security Council reform, but is averse to discussing
its, proposed changes. The GoNZ has submitted a discussion
paper on the topic to the SG's High Level Panel on Threats,
Challenges and Change.

2. (SBU) In his opening speech to the UNGA on September 21,
Foreign Minister Phil Goff advocated UNSC reform, noting that
an expanded Security Council and "reform of outmoded
electoral groupings is necessary for the Council to be
representative of the international community as it is
today." He also alluded to a need to expand the
representation of Asia, Latin America and Africa, and to note
the contributions of specific nations (i.e. Japan) to the UN.
Poloff followed up with Wen Powles, Deputy Director, United
Nations and Commonwealth Division, New Zealand Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), who noted that the GoNZ has
proposed expanded elected membership and changes to permanent
membership.

Powles was hesitant to provide further details
until the High Level Panel responds to the GoNZ
recommendations.

3. (C) In his UNGA speech, Goff specifically mentioned
support for Japan's inclusion as a permanent member on the
UNSC. Powles noted that the original draft of the speech had
included more specific recommendations, but in the interest
of maintaining New Zealand's neutrality, Goff had walked back
from including these. Powles explained that NZ was hesitant
to publicly support specific candidates, fearing backlash
from other countries. Powles referenced possible candidate
countries India, Brazil and Germany, but reiterated that New
Zealand was not prepared to support candidates, due to a fear
of being seen as partisan.

4. (C) Comment: NZ may be advocating an expanded membership
as a mechanism to constrict the perceived dominance of the
UNSC by the 5 veto powers. This is likely not specifically
aimed at limiting US influence, but is in keeping with NZ's
view of the UN as an egalitarian organization and a desire to
see more representation of Asia-Pacific countries on the
Council. Overall, New Zealand's cautious approach to
announcing proposed reforms may be related to their
announcement October 1 to WEOG members that they will seek a
two-year term on the UNSC in 2015-2016. An early indication
of support for specific candidate countries could negatively
impact both NZ's candidacy and their overall policy of
working with as wide a range of UN member countries as
possible.
Swindells

- Herald on Sunday

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