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

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial To Be Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together tomorrow to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial.

The Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial Dedication and Civic Memorial Service starts at 12 noon tomorrow, February 22, at the Memorial site on the Ōtākaro/Avon River, in the area bordered by the Montreal Street Bridge, Durham Street, and Cambridge and Oxford Terraces. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news