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NZ vote in favour of a UN resolution

New Zealand's vote in favour of a United Nations resolution

PRESS RELEASE: 30 November 2012. The Palestine Human Rights Campaign welcomes New Zealand's vote in favour of a United Nations resolution giving non-member observer status to Palestine. New Zealand's vote for the resolution was, however, not wholehearted. Our Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully made the reservation that his government “. . . is under no illusions as to the utility of a UN resolution" and that, “It will solve nothing. But in the absence of the direct talks we have called for, we will deal with the UN resolution on its merits.”

That statement is of course pointless because if McCully believes that the UN resolution solves nothing then plainly he regards it as having no merits. Prior to the vote at the UN, 75% of the world’s population, 132 countries, had already formally recognised the State of Palestine so New Zealand was finding itself at odds with the majority of world opinion.

Israel was conditionally admitted to the UN under a requirement to implement General Assembly resolution 194, including the Palestinian right of return and the role of the UN in facilitating peace in the region. The international community demonstrably has a clear moral and legal obligation to support the Palestinians in their quest for self-determination. McCully's insistence on requiring defenceless Palestinians to negotiate their freedom directly with their oppressor has achieved nothing but an agonising delay of over half a century at great advantage to Israel.

Nevertheless, we hope that New Zealand's vote for the resolution signals the beginnings of a genuine shift in policy. Respect for the provisions of international law that already contain the basis for a solution are far more conducive to the achievement of peace and stability than the coercive path that has proved itself so sterile.


ENDS

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Gordon Campbell:
On First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

One guest columnist will be from the centre right, one from the centre left. Today’s column is from the centre right – by James Penn:

As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

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