3 August, 2005
SUBJECT: UNSC REFORM: NEW ZEALAND WILL ABSTAIN FROM G-4 VOTE
This record is a partial extract of the original cable.
The full text of the original cable is not available.
Classified By: Charge David R. Burnett, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
1. (C) This message contains an action request, at paras 2 and 8.
2. (C) Summary: New Zealand is likely to abstain if a G-4
reform vote is brought before the General Assembly. GNZ
officials have offered to encourage undecided Pacific Island
governments to vote down or abstain from the resolution if
that would be helpful to us. Please advise. End Summary.
3. (C) On July 29, Pol/Econ (PE) Couns discussed Ref A
points with Joan Mosely and Wen Powles, Director and Deputy
Director of the UN and Commonwealth Division at the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). The two officials were
unaware that the G-4 and African Union had reached agreement
on a UNSC reform proposal. Mosely said that as of that point
New Zealand had no position on the G-4 proposal. She
reiterated GNZ's position (Ref B) that the current structure
of the UNSC was unrepresentative and anachronistic, and that
any UNSC expansion should include Japan. Mosely also shared
with PE Couns the July 12 statement in which Rosemary Banks,
NZ's UN PermRep, explained why New Zealand opposed the reform
proposal then before UNGA.
Banks statement noted that New
Zealand continues to oppose any extension of the UNSC veto
and believes that any added UNSC positions should be subject
to periodic review.
4. (C) Mosely stressed that New Zealand sees the UNSC reform
process as very important and does not want to see it fail.
PE Couns agreed, but noted that the United States believes a
contentious vote on UNSC reform at this time could undermine
the even more pressing debate on overall UN reform. She
reminded Mosely that the United States and New Zealand agree
on the need to rationalize the UN's Human Rights work as well
as other reform issues (Ref B).
5. (C) Mosely said that the latest G-4 proposal she had seen
had not meet the principles that UN PermRep Banks had
outlined, but she reiterated that GNZ did not yet have a
formal position on a G-4 resolution. That position, she
said, would be decided "at the highest level" (i.e., by PM
Clark) after a review of the G-4/AU proposal. Mosely noted
that the Embassies of Japan, Brazil, Italy had all been in to
see MFAT on the reform issue.
6. (C) On August 2, the Charge had a follow-up conversation
about the G-4 proposal with Foreign Minister Goff, who had
just returned from the ASEAN meeting in Laos. The Minister
told the Charge that New Zealand would likely abstain from
any vote on the G-4 proposal should it be put before the
General Assembly. He admitted that this would be easier than
going back to Japan and others to explain why New Zealand
would vote against the resolution.
7. (C) Goff said that he would be willing to speak to
undecided Pacific Island countries to encourage them to
oppose the G-4 resolution. He asked that the Embassy let him
know of any countries where such an approach would be useful.
Goff said he was expecting a call from the Chinese Foreign
Minister about this issue. He also asked if the United
States has been lobbying the Australian government to cease
its support for the G-4 resolution. The Charge said that the
last reporting that he had seen indicated that GOA officials
are still planning to back the G-4 proposal.
8. (C) Action request: Please advise Post if we should ask
Minister Goff to approach Pacific Island countries about the