WikiLeaks cable: UNGA third committee resolutions - NZ response

Photo / Mark Mitchell
Photo / Mark Mitchell

This is one of the diplomatic cables about New Zealand held by Wikileaks.

November 15, 2004

SUBJECT: UNGA THIRD COMMITTEE RESOLUTIONS: NEW ZEALAND RESPONSE

Classified By: POLITICAL/ECONOMIC COUNSELOR KATHERINE HADDA,

FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).

1. (C) On November 12, POL/ECON Couns discussed Reftel B resolutions with Val Meyer, Deputy Director of the Human Rights Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). Meyer was joined by Tamsin Royson, MFAT's policy officer for Africa.


2. (C) Meyer said that New Zealand would likely co-sponsor resolutions on Iran, Sudan, Burma, and Zimbabwe, as long as the wording of the resolutions were not weakened unacceptably. New Zealand would also probably vote in favor -- but not co-sponsor -- resolutions against the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC), Turkmenistan, and Belarus if
the wording on these remained meaningful.


3. (C) Meyer said that New Zealand's small delegation in New York can only process so much information and therefore has to focus on what it or the GONZ knows. Pol/Econ Counselor asked whether it would be helpful for GONZ to receive earlier any supporting information on possible resolutions. Meyer said not really, as in general New Zealand will only
co-sponsor resolutions when it has traditional ties with and/or diplomatic representation in the countries involved.

Otherwise, New Zealand believes it is in no position to add anything in negotiations on the wording of such resolutions, she said. The only other times in which New Zealand might co-sponsor a resolution is if the problems in the country involved were known by -- and of concern to -- the general New Zealand public. This is why New Zealand did not co-sponsor the Belarus resolution, for example. Meyer said even if it does not co-sponsor, New Zealand will generally vote for Human Rights resolutions if the principle sponsors do not weaken the language "to blandness."


4. (C) Pol/Econ Counselor asked whether New Zealand has supported human rights resolutions against China. Meyer said she could not recall, but added that New Zealand talks regularly with the PRC about Human Rights and does raise specific cases with Chinese officials. GONZ officials make similar approaches to Iran, she said.

Swindells

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