WikiLeaks cable: NZ responds to demarche on UNFC draft resolution

13 October, 2005
SUBJECT: 60TH UNFC: NEW ZEALAND RESPONDS TO DEMARCHE ON UNFC DRAFT RESOLUTION ON AD HOC COMMITTEES

This record is a partial extract of the original cable.
The full text of the original cable is not available.

Classified by Charge d'Affaires David R. Burnett. Reasons: 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (C) Largely because of frustration over the lack of
progress in the Geneva Conference on Disarmament, the New
Zealand government supports the draft resolution in the UN
First Committee that would establish Ad Hoc Committees under
the UN General Assembly. However, New Zealand does not want
the committees to replace the Conference on Disarmament (CD)
and would welcome U.S. ideas for moving the CD forward.

2. (C) Post on October 6 delivered ref B points to the New
Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). The
Charge on October 12 raised the issue with Simon Murdoch,
MFAT's chief executive, during a discussion on how New
Zealand sometimes sends negative signals to the United
States. The Charge also raised the issue October 13 during
his monthly lunch with the heads of the Canadian and Mexican
missions here, stressing that if the Ad Hoc Committees were
set up, the United States would not participate.

The Mexican
Ambassador (protect), who served six years in Geneva working
arms control and disarmament issues, agreed that this
initiative was a poor substitute for progress in the CD.

3. (C) Acting pol-econ chief on October 12 discussed the
issue with Caroline McDonald, director of MFAT's disarmament
division. McDonald noted that New Zealand representatives
consulted with other governments on the issue on October 6 in
New York and that Washington should be aware of New Zealand's
position.

4. (C) McDonald said her government's support of the draft
resolution stems primarily from frustration with the CD's
lack of progress, in the face of global disarmament and
proliferation challenges. She noted that the CD for the last
eight years has been unable to agree on a work agenda,
preventing key issues from being discussed. She also pointed
to frustration over the lack of a major outcome from the
Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference and over
the UN High-Level Summit Document's failure to mention
disarmament.

5. (C) New Zealand is not trying to replace or end the CD,
McDonald said. The draft resolution, in fact, says that the
Ad Hoc Committees would cease once the CD adopted a work
program. The New Zealand government believes the U.S.
government shares its objective to get the CD to address key
disarmament and proliferation issues. Implying that New
Zealand would not support the Ad Hoc Committees if the CD
were making progress, McDonald said her government would
welcome U.S. ideas for attaining our common objective of
getting the CD to "get down to real work."

6. (C) McDonald also emphasized that New Zealand supports the
need for the rule of consensus when substantive negotiations
take place. However, in the CD, the need for consensus has
prevented agreement on a work program, with procedural rules
being employed that inhibit progress. Until that logjam is
cleared, New Zealand sees the Ad Hoc Committees as a possible
way for carrying forward discussions on the key disarmament
and proliferation issues.

Burnett

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