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Goff welcomes report as blueprint for UN reform

Hon Phil Goff Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

22 March 2005

Goff welcomes report as blueprint for UN reform

Foreign Minister Phil Goff has welcomed a report by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan calling for decisive and bold reform of the UN.

"As the United Nations approaches its 60th anniversary, now is the time to work towards a new vision for the United Nations," Mr Goff said.

"That vision is of a world where all people are more secure, more prosperous, and better able to enjoy their basic human rights. Collective action in a world where problems, threats and opportunities transcend national boundaries and where we are increasingly globally interdependent is necessary to achieve that end.

"We strongly endorse the linkage made by Kofi Annan that security requires development; development in turn relies on security, and that human rights are fundamental to both.

"Annan's report provides the necessary strong direction to give momentum to the reform process. It strikes a balance in focusing on changes that are both vital and achievable.

"Importantly for New Zealand, the Secretary General's report includes our key priorities. To achieve security and end conflict, New Zealand has long promoted the need acknowledged in the report for both disarmament and non-proliferation, and proposals to prevent nuclear energy capacity being used to create nuclear weapons.

"On terrorism we agree with the Secretary General's proposal for a comprehensive convention which defines as a terrorist any one who deliberately targets the lives of innocent people to achieve political ends.

"New Zealand supports 'the Responsibility to Protect', which sets out clearly that the need for collective action against genocide, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

"New Zealand endorses the proposal for a Peacebuilding Commission, acknowledging the need for sustained action to prevent the current pattern of countries emerging from war only to lapse back into violence.

"We welcome the Secretary-General's strong personal views on the need to replace the Commission on Human Rights with a body which will be more respected and effective.

"On development, New Zealand acknowledges the dual need for greater commitment from the developed world to provide assistance and from the developing world for better governance and giving priority to development needs.

"We support the goals of completing the WTO Doha Round, promoting debt sustainability, and increased aid which is better aligned and harmonised with country owned strategies.

"Finally, we endorse the need for an expanded Security Council that is more representative of the realities of today's world. While there is no consensus yet on the specifics of this reform, New Zealand believes that this question should not be allowed to stand in the way of progress in other areas.

"The Secretary General's report lays the foundation for decisive action by world leaders in New York in September. The ability to realise the vision of a better world relies upon countries seizing upon the opportunity to make the necessary decisions at this meeting. New Zealand will strongly support the Secretary General in his efforts to achieve this end," Mr Goff said.

ENDS

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