Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Dunne Speaks: 3 April 2014

Dunne Speaks

3 April 2014

Being a good international citizen can have its highs and lows. Take the last couple of weeks as an example.

Two weeks ago a selection of international leaders, armies of bureaucrats and diplomats, and hordes of journalists deported to The Hague for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Summit. This is another of these Obama initiatives that show all the trappings of good engagement and process, but which in reality has achieved very little to date. And this last meeting was no exception. Indeed, reporters covering it seemed reduced to comment more about the external surroundings, than the substance, because there was apparently none.

Yet, barely had the doors closed on this nadir when The Hague was in the limelight again when the International Court of Justice ruled 12 to 4 against the validity of Japan’s so-called scientific whaling in the Antarctic. This was a triumph of international action, led by Australia with New Zealand in the van, and a powerful assertion of the strength of international institutions operating at their best. International citizenship suddenly seemed that much more worthwhile.

If the Nuclear Non-Proliferation séance left people wondering, then the International Court decision surely confirmed the significance and importance of New Zealand’s bid later this year for one of the non-permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council. New Zealand has always been a strong supporter of the United Nations, from the days of Peter Fraser and his role in its establishment in 1945, through to the work of Sir Leslie Munro as President of the General Assembly in the late 1950s, and the current role of former Prime Minister Helen Clark heading the UN Development Plan. We have also served a couple of terms on the Security Council with distinction, and are generally recognised as a safe and wise pair of hands, even if our size and isolation might suggest otherwise.

Despite the obvious frustrations of the international system, it essentially works, as New Zealand has found on a number of occasions. From the landmark decision against French atmospheric nuclear testing in the 1970s, through to this week’s whaling decision the International Court (on which a prominent New Zealand jurist sits currently) has been a positive for us. So too, was our insistence on staying out of the Iraq conflict until and unless specific action was mandated by the United Nations, and weapons of mass destruction discovered.

So while being left off the background map at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Summit might have made us wonder about the worth of international engagement, the whaling decision and history overall are timely reminders that, frustrations and all, being a good international citizen is worthwhile, and is a role New Zealand should continue to play.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On What John Key Should Be Asking Joe Biden

No doubt, US Vice-President Joe Biden will be updating Prime Minister John Key on the chances of a TPP vote taking place in the ‘ lame duck’ session of Congress that’s held between the November’s election and the inauguration of a new President in January. More>>

ALSO:

Make NZ Make Again: Greens Will Establish A Minister For Manufacturing

The Green Party announced today that it will establish a Minister for Manufacturing in Cabinet, to better represent the interests of manufacturers and ensure they thrive. The Minister will be inside Cabinet and have responsibility for the long-term interests of the manufacturing sector. More>>

ALSO:

Cannabis Party: Treasury Figures On Cost Of Criminalisation

Figures released by Treasury prove the economic viability of The Cannabis Party's policy, while destroying the credibility of police claims about cannabis harms. More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: Investigation Into Mental Health Facilities Shows Disarray

The Health Minister must urgently launch an inquiry into mental health services, after serious issues with the standard of care at mental health and disability facilities around the country were revealed today, the Green Party said. More>>

ALSO:

Apparently He Means 'Years 0-8': Seymour Announces 4th Partnership Schools Application Round

“The continuing growth of this policy reflects the achievement of the eight existing Partnership Schools, and the strong levels of interest educators and community leaders are showing in the Partnership Schools model and what it offers students and their families,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

Trust Directors: Urban Māori Win Case Against Te Ohu Kai Moana

The National Urban Māori Authority (NUMA) and Te Waipareira Trust have succeeded in their claim over a $20 million trust set up for the benefit of urban Māori, meaning all directors of the trust must represent Māori who are not affiliated with an iwi. More>>

New Model: Carbon Tax Could Lower Emissions And Boost Economy

A carbon tax targeting emissions-intensive industries, along with a revamped Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), could boost economic growth, with the extra tax generated used to cut GST from 15 percent to 12.5 percent. More>>

ALSO:

Budget Docs Release: ACC Sought $158mn In Budget 2016, Got $26.4mn

The Accident Compensation Commission requested an extra $158 million in funding for 2016/17 from the government ahead of Budget 2016, but Treasury instead recommended an interim payment of just $26.4 million be funded to tackle demographic changes, papers published by the government show. More>>

ALSO:

Submissions Sought: Māori Party Joins Opposition Housing Inquiry

People who are homeless, those who were once homeless, those working with the homeless and concerned New Zealanders are being asked to share their experiences and solutions to this growing issue with the Cross-Party Homelessness Inquiry. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news