WikiLeaks cable: NZ supports most US goals for UN reform

Photo / Mark Mitchell
Photo / Mark Mitchell

January 26, 2006
NZ supports most US goals for UN reform

date:2006-01-26T01:51:00
source:Embassy Wellington
origin:06WELLINGTON67
destination:This record is a partial extract of the original cable.
The full text of the original cable is not available.
classification:CONFIDENTIAL
reference:06SECSTATE4745|06SECSTATE4746
?C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000067

SIPDIS

STATE FOR IO/UNP, EAP/ANP-DRICCI

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/25/2016
TAGS: PREL, ADCO, PHU...
?C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000067

SIPDIS

STATE FOR IO/UNP, EAP/ANP-DRICCI

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/25/2016
TAGS: PREL, ADCO, PHUM, KUNR, NZ, UNGA
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND SUPPORTS MOST U.S. GOALS FOR UN REFORM

REF: A. (A) SECSTATE 4746
B. (B) SECSTATE 4745

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

1. (SBU) New Zealand concurs with most U.S. objectives for UN
reform. Charge delivered refs A and B on January 25 to
Caroline Forsyth, deputy secretary of the New Zealand
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Forsyth said that
reforming UN management was a key priority for New Zealand,
that all UN mandates should be reviewed, and that the new
Human Rights Council should have the ability to consider
country-specific resolutions. But New Zealand does not want
to specify that a two-thirds vote be required to pass such
resolutions, and it does not support automatic P-5 membership
on the council.

Management reform
-----------------
2. (C) Forsyth said giving the Secretariat the authority to
shift staff positions and to redeploy resources to meet the
UN's goals is in line with how New Zealand manages its public
services. New Zealand was pleased to contribute to the
compromise that set both a spending cap and a deadline for
implementing the management reforms. Forsyth saw the
extended deadline as providing time to encourage the
Secretariat to sort out personnel and budget regulations and

SIPDIS
achieve compromises on reforms. But she predicted that the
G-77 would hamper progress on the reforms.

3. (SBU) All UN General Assembly mandates should be reviewed,
Forsyth said. While the issue needed to be handled
sensitively, she added, the "deadwood" needed to be cleared
away. Forsyth pointed out that some member states portray
management reform and mandate review as attacks on the UN.
She also noted the U.S. need for these reforms to be
implemented to ensure Congressional support for the
organization.

Human Rights Council
--------------------
4. (SBU) Forsyth cited progress on forming a Human Rights
Council, but expected its creation would entail difficult
tradeoffs. New Zealand prefers a smaller council. Forsyth
said her government did not support the automatic inclusion
of the Security Council's permanent members on the Human
Rights Council, which, if the council were smaller, would
"crowd out the rest of us." The Charge said that a smaller
group would improve efficiency. He added that, while the
United States is not seeking guarantees that it or other P-5
members be elected to the council, it wants members to have
strong human-rights records. Forsyth said consensus had not
yet formed, even among like-minded countries, on whether a
two-thirds "supermajority" should be required to elect
council members, and she warned that such a requirement could
be a "two-edged sword" by not letting some members in.

5. (SBU) Forsyth said New Zealand wants the council to be
able to address country-specific situations. But it opposes
requiring a two-thirds majority for the passage of
country-specific resolutions and instead would leave the
issue to the council to resolve. The Charge expressed
concern that if the council set its own rules for voting, the
bar might be placed so high that no country could be taken to
task for human rights abuses.

Other issues
------------
6. (C) New Zealand was disappointed that the Outcome Document
did not include nonproliferation and disarmament goals, but
it remained committed to building on the World Summit and
improving the UN's operations, Forsyth said. Like the United
States, New Zealand was pleased with the effort to establish
a Peacebuilding Commission. While continuing to oppose the
veto in the Security Council, New Zealand supports Japan's
membership in an expanded council. But Forsyth did not
expect council reform to occur anytime soon, and she
predicted that the process of selecting a new
Secretary-General would "not encourage boldness."

Burnett

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