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Labour: Foreign Affairs Trade & Development Policy

Foreign Affairs, Trade, And Development Assistance

Labour’s Vision

Labour recognises that globalisation offers exciting opportunities for a dynamic trading nation like New Zealand, but also generates challenges to social equality and the global environment. Our foreign policy seeks to advance our interests and our values by meeting those challenges and exploiting those opportunities. In a rapidly globalising world it is more clear than ever that our own interests as a nation are intimately interwoven with those of the rest of the world. We believe that we can do what is right for New Zealand and make the world a better place.

Whether it is climate change, terrorism or the spread of HIV/AIDS the really big challenges of our time require creative and coordinated global responses. Our international trade and economic strategy is critical to securing prosperity for future generations of New Zealanders. As a small country New Zealand needs to be creative and strategic if it is to have influence on global affairs. We need to support multilateralism, build strong regional and bilateral relationships and target our resources and energy.

Our approach should be determined by the values and the principles we hold as New Zealanders and as an independent and sovereign country. Labour’s Foreign Policy is based on the values of peace, harmony, democracy, human rights, security and economic prosperity.

Labour believes that the Pacific region must be a priority for us. We need to support the development and security of our neighbours in the region. We need also to reach out to Asia to develop our relationships within a region which is important to our future security and prosperity.

We should strengthen our traditional relationships such as with Australia, the European Union, the United States and Canada, as well as reaching out to new regions such as Latin America.

Labour’s Achievements

Since 1999 Labour has taken an active and responsible role in building stronger international relations and protecting the interests of New Zealand and the international community. We have • Participated in peacekeeping operations in Sinai, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Angola, Sudan, Bosnia and Kosovo. • Taken an active role in bringing and maintaining peace in the Solomon Islands, Bougainville, East Timor and Fiji. • Contributed to the peace, reconstruction and security of Afghanistan, and assisted with humanitarian and reconstruction work in Iraq.

Foreign Affairs Forward.

• Established the Pacific Cooperation Foundation as a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting greater understanding between New Zealand and our Pacific neighbours. • Established NZAID as a semi autonomous body. • Increased ODA expenditure by 21 per cent in 2005/06, with further increases planned for the next three years. • Pledged $68 million to the Tsunami relief fund, including matching $19 million contributions from the New Zealand public. • Participated in the on-going negotiations on the WTO Doha Development Round. • Completed free trade negotiations with Singapore, Thailand, Chile and Brunei and begun negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with China, Malaysia, and ASEAN. • Created NZTE to give a single trade and industry organisation. • Increased baseline funding for MFAT/NZTE to ensure the on-going capability of the organisation. • Opened new Embassies in Brasilia and Warsaw, and funded the opening of an embassy in Cairo in 2006. • Ratified the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. • Passed anti terrorism legislation and ratified all 12 UN conventions on terrorism • Passed the Transnational Organised Crime Bill to allow NZ to meet its international obligations. • Hosted Parliamentarians for Global Action conference on the International Criminal Court.

Labour’s Priorities Building International Institutions That Work- Multilateralism Matters to NZ and the World

As a small nation committed to international peace and security, New Zealand needs strong multilateral institutions so that our voice can be heard in world affairs. Labour strongly believes in working cooperatively with those who share a commitment to social justice and human rights through effective international organisations. International organisations must be democratic, efficient, accountable and transparent.

Labour will:

• Continue to support the UN as the pre-eminent global forum for resolving international disputes and finding solutions to global problems. • Work towards the implementation of the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Foreign Affairs

• Continue to support UN agencies (eg UNICEF,UNFPA, UNDP) in their work throughout the world, in particular in the Pacific region. • Work with other like minded countries to reform and empower the UN through: - reform of the Security Council, including the abolition of the veto, restructuring of the membership with more equitable regional representation and a stronger voice for developing countries; - modernising the UN through greater professionalism and accountability, including a results focus for implementing agencies. • Promote greater coordination between the major international institutions such as UN., IMF, World Bank, the ILO, WTO in order to develop representative and effective international agencies. • Develop the relationship among Commonwealth nations as a forum to bridge the North-South divide, including working as a group at international meetings and conferences. • Encourage international agencies to investigate the need for a new enforceable framework of rules for trans national corporations.

Making our Pacific neighbourhood more prosperous and peaceful

Labour will continue to ensure that New Zealand plays a major role in regional advocacy and as a leader in sustainable regional development and democratic governance in the South Pacific. Labour recognises the enormous progress made by many Pacific nations, and the great opportunities that exist for the communities of the region. We also recognise that there are challenges facing the Pacific region, including economic under performance, instability, HIV/AIDS, poor governance and corruption. Labour will: • Continue to engage with Pacific Island States in a partnership approach, as a reliable friend and good neighbour, making the Pacific the top priority for NZAID. • Continue to support and expand the Pacific Plan developed by Pacific Islands Forum to create stronger and deeper links between countries of the region and promote better governance in the region. • Support discussion among Pacific Island Forum countries on the possibilities for long-term economic and political co-operation. • Sharpen the governance focus for NZAID work in the Pacific based on national ownership of sector strategies, high levels of donor coordination and empowering civil society. • Continue to support the Pacific Cooperation Foundation and other initiatives to develop regional dialogue amongst civil society, governments, business, and academia.

Foreign Affairs

• Support Pacific Forum countries to strengthen security and combat terrorism, money laundering and other threats in the region. • Encourage regional partners to adopt all the relevant conventions and protocols on terrorism and contribute technical assistance where necessary to achieve this. • Contribute to regionally mandated peacekeeping efforts. • Work towards strengthening New Zealand's capacity to play an active role in dispute resolution in regional conflicts, and eventually beyond the region. • Highlight the interest of Pacific Island Nations in international fora such as the United Nations, including implementation of the Mauritius Strategy to assist small island states to meet the threats of issues such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, vulnerability to natural disasters and climate change. • Support Pacific Island nations to meet the Millennium Development Goals and the implementation of national development strategies.

Tackling Poverty and Injustice so we can make the world a better place NZAID

Labour is committed to a programme of development assistance that, in partnership with developing countries, focuses on elimination of poverty and the growth of long-term sustainable development. Our priority for assistance is the Pacific region, and we will work with other donors to coordinate our efforts in the region and throughout the world.

Labour will:

• Continue our efforts to build NZAID into a world class international development organisation. • Continue to increase our ODA Budget as a percentage of GNI on a deliberate and regular basis, with the aim of reaching 0.35 per cent by 2010. • Increase our support to multilateral agencies, particularly those who are active in the Pacific region. • Sharpen our focus on basic education services and improve the effectiveness of educational scholarships. • Further develop our work on fighting HIV/AIDS and other diseases in the Pacific region. • Make water, sanitation and waste management an increasing focus of our assistance programmes in the Pacific. • Continue to focus on improving governance, leadership and economic development in the Pacific region.

Foreign Affairs

• Review our development relationships with Asian nations, with a view to deepening our engagement with a group of core countries in the region. • Continue to support the work of NGOs as an integral part of development assistance. • Continue to support the work of Volunteer Service Abroad to strengthen the contributions New Zealand citizens make to developing nations.

Disarmament and Arms Control

Labour will ensure that New Zealand remains at the forefront of the drive for international non-proliferation and disarmament, both nuclear and conventional. Labour will work with other like-minded countries towards a world free of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.

Labour will:

• Maintain New Zealand’s nuclear free status. • Continue to work with like minded nations to promote a comprehensive global approach to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. • Promote a nuclear free Southern Hemisphere, and support the strengthening of nuclear free zones in other parts of the world, including the South Pacific. • Investigate the effects of depleted uranium on people and environments where this has been used. • Continue our work to ban landmines, cluster bombs, and other dangerous weapons with long-term effects on civilian populations.

Human Rights

Labour gives high priority to the promotion and extension of human rights in its international relations. We will continue to play a full part in negotiations on human rights at the international level.

Labour will:

• Promote the ideals expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights, through constructive engagement with regional partners and multilateral organisations. • Ensure that New Zealand’s obligations under human rights treaties are met. • Continue to actively promote the world wide practical extension and application of human rights principles with particular emphasis placed on enhancing human rights and effective democracy in the Asia-Pacific region. New Zealand will be an advocate for human rights and democracy when they are under threat. • Seek intergovernmental dialogue on human rights through regular ministerial meetings and communication between Human Rights Commissions in our region.

Foreign Affairs

• Promote the commitment to the rights of women internationally including access to education and health services, including sexual and reproductive health, political participation, the elimination of violence against women and freedom from international trafficking in women and children. • Support and lead work in the development of the UN Disability Convention. • Support moves to encourage interfaith dialogue throughout the Asia-Pacific region as a part of building a climate of tolerance, understanding and commitment to human rights. • Maintain our intake of refugees as part of our humanitarian commitment to people brutalised by war and displaced from their homes.


Environmental issues transcend national boundaries and must be addressed through international cooperation.

Labour will:

• Promote mechanisms like protected areas on the high seas and advocate vigorously for multilateral agreements to protect and sustainably manage fisheries on the high seas and highly migratory species. • Promote the protection of the Antarctic marine environment with specially protected marine areas. • Continue to work on the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, including encouraging governments who have not yet ratified to do so.

Securing Prosperity for Future Generations of New Zealanders

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, together with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise have key roles in making the links to overseas markets, scientific partners, investors, groups and individuals that will help us achieve as an innovative, creative, and successful country.

Labour will:

• Strengthen our efforts to foster international connections through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade working with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Education, Immigration, the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Economic Development in a coordinated manner. • Continue an active export promotion strategy, including through the presence of private sector delegations on Prime Ministerial and Ministerial visits. • Continue to facilitate sustainable investment in New Zealand especially in added value industries. • Pursue the objective of a single economic market with Australia while maintaining New Zealand’s sovereignty and national interests.

Foreign Affairs

• Ensure the involvement of key stakeholders in the foreign policy process, such as civil society, business, academia is enhanced and adds value to the promotion of New Zealand interests.


Labour is committed to a multilateral global trading system that is rules based, free, fair and transparent. Labour recognises that trading and economic systems do not exist in a vacuum and that they have an impact on social and environmental issues.

Labour will:

• Take a lead role in the Doha Development Round negotiations, in particular to obtain a fair trading environment for agricultural exporting nations. • Continue to pursue bilateral and regional trade agreements that are consistent with WTO rules and agreements and provide for labour and environmental standards and cooperation. • Campaign to reform international trade rules to make the WTO more effective. • Ensure that rules of fair and free trade are consistent with the objectives of the International Labour Organisation, with decent environmental standards and with human rights standards. • Support the development of the New Zealand Pacific Business Council to strengthen two-way trade between New Zealand and Pacific nations.

Relations with the Asian Region

Labour is committed to intensifying our links with Asia, through economic, trade, security, cultural and people to people links. Strong relationships are needed to promote New Zealand's economic and security interests in the region.

Labour will:

• Continue to develop the Seriously Asia initiative to promote New Zealand’s interests in the region, in league with civil society, business and academia. • Enhance the work of the Ministerial Taskforce on Relations with Asia so that we take a wide strategic view of our relations and map out a coordinated policy path going forward. • Promote further dialogue with ASEAN, including through the successful conclusion of a trade agreement, which combines benefits for New Zealand exporters with commitment to strong environmental and labour policies. • Continue to be involved with APEC at all levels, including promotion of ABAC as an important link for NZ businesses in the region.

Foreign Affairs

Strengthening Traditional and Developing New Relationships

New Zealand has strong political, economic, family and people-to-people relationships with Australia, the United Kingdom and European Union, the United States and Canada.

Labour will:

• Continue to strengthen political cooperation and trading relationships with these countries and to work closely with like-minded countries in pursuit of the values and interests we share and which are important to us. • Explore and develop relationships with new regions such as Latin America and the former Central and Eastern European states which were under Soviet control. This includes the use of policies such as the Latin American Strategy and work to enhance relationships with newly acceding members of the European Union

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