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MFAT Briefing Released

4 September 2002

Ministry Of Foreign Affairs And Trade Briefing Released

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New and evolving challenges such as the post-September 11 security environment and the issue of asylum seekers and people smuggling are among issues covered in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade post-election briefing released today by Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff.

“The terrible events of just under a year ago in the United States focused the world on the war against terrorism and New Zealand is playing its part.

“The briefing outlines New Zealand’s steps towards meeting the requirements of the UN Security Council Resolution 1373.

“The Terrorism Suppression Bill will return to Parliament for its second reading while another Terrorism Bill will be introduced to cover the remaining measures in Resolution 1373.

“Closer to home, the briefing outlines areas of concern in the Pacific. A period of instability lies ahead, particularly in Melanesia. The continued decline in law and order and economic collapse in the Solomons remains of paramount concern.

“People smuggling and asylum seekers are real issues for New Zealand. The briefing notes that New Zealand while protected from its geographic isolation is a potential alternative destination to Australia. It outlines the strong measures this country has taken with the introduction of stiff new penalties in the Transnational Organised Crime legislation aimed at cracking down on people smugglers.

“The briefing maps out New Zealand’s commitment to maintaining our nuclear free status and playing an active role in the drive for international disarmament.

“This government will continue to support and seek to strengthen adherence to the jurisdiction and effectiveness of the International Criminal Court to cover genocide, war crimes and crime against humanity.

“The briefing outlines the Ministry’s goals in ensuring New Zealand will continue to gain respect for being independent and fair-minded on international issues and for its willingness to play a full role in international operations.

“The briefing also stresses the Ministry’s key role in supporting the Government’s Growth and Innovation Framework through improving market access and the important work in the multilateral trade environment,” Mr Goff said.


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