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Terrorism and humanitarian aid on Goff agenda

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

8 November 2001

Terrorism and humanitarian aid on Goff agenda for UN visit

Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff says the international response to terrorism and addressing the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan will be the major focus of his visit to New York.

The Minister leaves for New York tomorrow evening. Over the next week he will be addressing the UN General Assembly and meeting a range of leaders, UN representatives and Foreign Ministers.

These include – the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Lakhdar Brahimi, Palestine National Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Kenzo Oshima and UN Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers.

“The United Nations has a vital role in the fight against terrorism and dealing with the humanitarian crisis surrounding it. Multilateral action is essential and the UN is the organisation to achieve this. My visit provides the opportunity to touch base with key players in the fight against terrorism.

“I will further discuss New Zealand’s offer of humanitarian assistance with various UN representatives. While it is a tragedy that civilians have been killed in the bombing of Afghanistan, thousands of others have died from famine and preventable diseases over the past decade. New Zealand is prepared to play its part to help address this crisis.

“The events of September 11 means there is a new imperative to resolve the Middle East conflict, which demands flexibility and good will on both sides. My meeting with Chairman Arafat is an opportunity to discuss this issue.

“I will also be addressing the Entry Into Force Conference of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. New Zealand will be urging all Sates to sign and ratify the Treaty without delay so that it can enter into force and so the world can be free from the scourge of nuclear testing forever.

“This and other action against nuclear proliferation developed a new urgency given the terrorist strikes of 11 September and tensions between India and Pakistan,” Mr Goff said.


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