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Goff to visit United States and Canada

Hon Phil Goff Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

20 May 2005

Goff to visit United States and Canada

Foreign Minister Phil Goff heads to North America on Sunday for meetings in Washington, at the United Nations in New York, and Ottawa.

“There have been changes in some of the key United States administration positions since President Bush’s re-election and I’m looking forward to meeting some of the new players and renewing acquaintances with those who have assumed new roles,” Mr Goff said.

Among those Mr Goff is due to meet are National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick. He will also see Chair of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Senator Richard Lugar, other legislators and members of the recently established Friends of the New Zealand Caucus in the House of Representatives.

Mr Goff will meet with the US/New Zealand Business Council, which is a strong supporter of New Zealand's case for a Free Trade Agreement with the US.

In New York, Mr Goff will meet UN Under Secretary-General and Chef de Cabinet Mark Malloch Brown, and Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs Sir Kieran Prendergast to discuss UN reform and international peace and security issues.

"Discussions on the UN Secretary-General’s reform proposals are intensifying, and these meetings will provide a valuable opportunity to highlight key issues of importance to New Zealand and to emphasise our support for the reform process.

"Later this year the UN will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the signing of its Charter. There has never been a better time for members to come together to support an effective and relevant United Nations that is equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st Century."

In Ottawa, Mr Goff will have a working lunch with Canadian Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew. He will also meet other Ministers and address the National Press Association.

“New Zealand and Canada work closely together in a wide range of international organisations, as we share common views on many issues.

"Canada has just released an international policy statement setting out its direction in diplomacy, defence, development and trade. I look forward to discussing the statement in detail while in Ottawa, as there are many points of convergence with New Zealand’s policies,” Mr Goff said.

ENDS

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