Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

The UN And Its Relevance To NZ - Phil Goff


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Speech Notes

THE UNITED NATIONS AND ITS RELEVANCE TO NEW ZEALAND
UNITED NATIONS DAY
25 OCTOBER 2000


Kate Smith, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is my pleasure to welcome you here today to celebrate the 55th Anniversary of the coming into force of the United Nations Charter and the achievements of the United Nations.

All of us today are proud of the role played by New Zealand's then Prime Minister Peter Fraser in San Francisco in 1945, who helped to frame the United Nations Charter.

World War II had just ended and twice within a generation, the world had been subject to the mass destruction and slaughter of war between nations.

New Zealand had suffered heavy casualties in both wars. It was determined to see the creation of an effective international organisation that could replace the law of the jungle with the rule of law in governing relations between countries.

As a small nation, we in particular appreciated the need for a new order based on collective action, a commitment to humanitarian ideals and a rules-based system.

Now, 55 years on, I believe that the values and principles that gave birth to the United Nations are as relevant today as they were then.

A few weeks ago at the UN General Assembly Kofi Annan called upon member states to harness the symbolic power of the millennium to meet the urgent needs of people in every part of the world.

New Zealand shares his determination that member states should recommit themselves to the core principles of peaceful settlement of disputes, equality of nations, the upholding of fundamental human rights and freedoms and the pursuit of social and economic progress for all of the people of the world.

New Zealand has shown by its actions its commitment to the principles through its current involvement in East Timor.

In August last year, it participated in the holding of the ballot in East Timor under UNAMET. I was proud of the contribution that New Zealanders made on that occasion, which I personally observed.

In October we committed one of our largest ever peacekeeping contingents and retain a significant presence there which will probably continue beyond next year's election of East Timor's first government under independence.

The work of our peacekeepers without doubt helped prevent a recurrence of genocide in that country, though it has come at the cost of the lives of three New Zealand soldiers.

I had the pleasure today of meeting again with the United Nations Special Representative to East Timor, Sergio de Mello.

We discussed progress in the reconstruction of East Timor, the challenge of building from nothing a new nation able to sustain itself and govern effectively, and the continuing threat posed by armed militia entering East Timor from the West.

New Zealand can be rightly proud of the contribution of its soldiers and personnel in East Timor and in 12 other countries where it is actively involved in peacekeeping.

East Timor has been a success story for the United Nations. In other areas, however, such as Rwanda and Bosnia, the international community can be less than satisfied with efforts to protect innocent people from slaughter.

Changes need to be made in managing peacekeeping operations, as the recent Brahimi report has pointed out. This includes the need to provide strong mandates and adequate resourcing.

Changes are needed in the United Nations itself to maximise its effectiveness. These include a system by which all member states pay their assessed contributions on time, in full and without conditions.

It includes the need for effective management and efficient use of resources.

It includes comprehensive reform of the Security Council to be made more representative of today's membership, more transparent and democratic and, if possible, to eliminate, or at least curtail, the veto power of permanent members.

Whatever its shortcomings, the United Nations is, however, the best hope we have to ensure that global problems are tackled with global solutions.

The elimination of nuclear weapons, efforts to end poverty, famine, illness and underdevelopment, protection of the environment, the defeat of racism, discrimination against women and exploitation of children are just some of the critical tasks that member states of the United Nations have in front of them.

These are major issues and require the combined efforts of all nations if we are to succeed in overcoming those problems and achieving a fairer, just and better world.

Can I take this opportunity to thank the United Nations Association for its ongoing efforts to promote the role of the UN and to all of you here for your support on this occasion.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Crowdsale And Crowdfunding Campaign: Help Create The Future Of Independent News

Two weeks to go! The Scoop 3.0 plan aims to create NZ’s first community-owned, distributed news and media intelligence ecosystem in 2019. We believe this ScoopPro media monetisation approach can be scaled and spread globally to support local and independent news efforts in regional New Zealand and around the world.

Scoop is an ecosystem, it would not exist without those who contribute to it, read it and rely on it for professional media purposes. Generous past support from this ecosystem has enabled us to come this far in developing our business model. Support our PledgeMe Campaign>>

 

14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>

ALSO:

Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>

ALSO:

Cases Delayed: Court Staff Refuse To Handle Sentencing Papers

Dozens of court cases have reportedly been delayed, as court staff escalate industrial action at two Auckland courts by enforcing a ban on handling sentencing papers. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>

ALSO:

"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels