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PM congratulates Sir Kenneth Keith

8 November 2005

PM congratulates Sir Kenneth Keith

The election of New Zealander Sir Kenneth Keith to the International Court of Justice is a truly significant achievement for both Sir Kenneth Keith and New Zealand, Prime Minister Helen Clark said today.

The vote took place at the United Nations in New York earlier today (Monday NY time).

“There has never been a New Zealand judge elected to the Court in the nearly 60 years of its existence.

“Sir Ken’s outstanding qualifications, together with New Zealand’s reputation as a staunch advocate of the rule of law and an active and constructive participant in international affairs, have led to this historic result.

“Sir Kenneth has excellent credentials to serve on the Court, with an impressive blend of international legal and academic expertise.

“The ICJ is the world’s pre-eminent international court and the United Nations’ principal judicial arm. New Zealand has brought cases before it twice, both related to French nuclear testing in the Pacific.

“Sir Kenneth’s bid for election to the ICJ has been the most important international candidature New Zealand has run for years.

“Competition to serve on such a prestigious body is fierce and it has been a tough campaign. New Zealand, Spain and the US were competing for two seats on the Court.

“I warmly congratulate Sir Kenneth. He will be a great asset to the Court, and his election reinforces New Zealand’s strong commitment to that body," Helen Clark said.

ENDS


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