Cablegate: Undersecretary Dobriansky Emphasizes Strong Us-Nz

DE RUEHWL #0024/01 0292138
P 292138Z JAN 08





E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/22/2018

Classified By: Pol/Econ Counselor Margaret B. McKean; Reason 1.4 (b) an
d (d)

1. (C) Summary. During her January 14 meetings with
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) officials,
Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs
Paula Dobriansky highlighted the recent successful
discussions in Bali, underscored USG support for a
multilateral approach to climate change in the post-2012
period, and applauded the close bilateral cooperation between
the U.S. and New Zealand on a range of issues covering the
environment, Antarctica, human rights and democracy and
governance. U/S Dobriansky also highlighted the strong
premium the USG places on interfaith dialogue and public
diplomacy programs to counter radicalism among youth. On
January 15, the Undersecretary met with Sir Geoffrey Palmer,
New Zealand's Whaling Commissioner, who urged the US to use
its influence with Japan to see a diplomatic resolution to
Japanese whaling policy. In all of her meetings, the
Undersecretary paid tribute to Sir Edmund Hillary and
expressed USG condolences at his passing. End Summary.

2. (U) Undersecretary Dobriansky was accompanied by S/P
staff member Dean Pittman; Embassy Charge d'Affaires David
Keegan and Pol/Econ Counselor also participated in MFAT

Meeting with MFAT CEO Simon Murdoch

3. (C) MFAT CEO Simon Murdoch met on January 14 with
Undersecretary Dobriansky to preview the Prime Minister's
views on a range of foreign policy issues in advance of the
US' meeting with the PM on January 15. Murdoch led off with
climate change and global warming, noting that the PM had
attended APEC and the East Asian Summit (EAS) meetings in
late 2007 and was struck by the prominence of climate change
at both meetings -- the EAS had focused on energy security in
2006 but the recent meeting had seen a significant shift in
priority to emissions reductions. The GNZ thought the Bali
meetings had been constructive, and New Zealanders want to
know what the climate change policy center of gravity in the
US will be over the next several years. He added that for
the Labour Party, the PM led a domestic policy review in the
past year on New Zealand's approach toward climate change;
with 2008 being an election year, the issue will remain very
important to the Prime Minister. On Bali, Dobriansky
characterized the outcome as a success, noting that she had
met with Minister for Climate Change David Parker while in

4. (C) Afghanistan is also an important issue to New
Zealand, and the PM believes the international community's
strategy must focus on both a military approach as well as
the development of political institutions, remarked Murdoch.
On human rights matters, the US and New Zealand are largely
of the same mind, continued Murdoch. The PM supported UNSG
Special Representative Ibrahim Gambari's participation at the
EAS leader luncheon. Murdoch allowed that GOS PM Lee Hsien
Loong had to "drag comments" on Burma out of the Indian and
Chinese leaders. Within the region, Murdoch said that New
Zealand has strong views on good governance. Democracy in
the post-colonial period is rather fragile, as the second
generation leaders in the Pacific islands struggle with
governance issues. Murdoch underscored GNZ appreciation for
cooperation in this regard with the USG. Undersecretary
Dobriansky noted that the USG values cooperation with the GNZ
on the human rights situations in Burma, Fiji, and North

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Korea. Murdoch stressed New Zealand's concern for the future
of the Pacific islands, which are increasingly turning away
from Australia and New Zealand to seek ties with Taiwan,
China, Cuba and others. The Undersecretary responded that
the USG wants to collaborate with NZ on more practical
approaches to democracy within the region, and is pleased
that the GNZ has indicated a willingness to join the Asia
Pacific Democracy Partnership (APDP). She added that she had
appreciated that Phil Goff, while serving as foreign
minister, has briefed her on his visit to Tibet, since as
Tibet coordinator she could not travel there.

5. (C) Murdoch also emphasized the PM's support for
counterterrorism (CT), particularly the soft side of the
GNZ's CT approach that encompasses interfaith dialogue and
the UN initiative on dialogue among civilizations. New
Zealand is a firm supporter of the Proliferation Security
Initiative (PSI), intelligence sharing, and CT efforts in
Afghanistan. However, the GNZ -- and the PM in particular --
also considers religious tolerance and interfaith dialogue
programs to be an important component of New Zealand's
overall approach, which is conducted with Australia and
Indonesia. Domestically, such soft support helps the PM
within the non-centrist left of the Labour Party, added
Murdoch, which is very critical of US policy towards Israel.
In conjunction with the UN dialogue project, New Zealand has
hosted a regional meeting that produced a report addressing
disaffected youth; the report was presented to the EAS for
funding consideration and commitment, said Murdoch.

6. (C) Undersecretary Dobriansky agreed that CT efforts
should include hard and soft tactics and programs; the USG
has a number of interfaith initiatives incorporated into US
efforts in Afghanistan. Also important is the role of Muslim
democracies, such as Indonesia, which are represented in the
Community of Democracies, said Dobriansky. Dean Pittman
added that the USG is working on a number of initiatives to
combat radical Islam, particularly among young people, as
part of our "war of ideas." The United States would welcome
the opportunity to collaborate with New Zealand on these
efforts. The Undersecretary stressed that the USG welcomes
other countries taking the lead on such issues and applauded
GNZ efforts. She agreed that progress in Afghanistan will
rely not only on assistance funds and military action, but
also on education, an open media, political institutional
development and many practical aspects of developing a
democratic society, including academic exchanges. Murdoch
noted that NATO will host a special meeting on Afghanistan in
Bucharest at the 2008 NATO Summit in late April; the PM plans
to attend and has been critical that the Europeans have not
delivered adequately on the military side. Murdoch also said
that the GNZ is considering how to "lift" the New Zealand
civilian presence in Afghanistan to match the GNZ PRT
contribution but no decision has yet been made.

7. (C) Returning to the environment and climate change
issues, Murdoch informed the USG visitors that New Zealand's
foreign policy used to be centered on trade; while trade
remains an important issue, the GNZ now also takes into
account environmental concerns and resource depletion.
Concerning the latter, the GNZ is concerned about the future
of the southern oceans due to overfishing, illegal fishing,
seabed mining, bio-prospecting in and around coral reefs, and
the increasing encroachment further south into Antarctic
waters of commercial fishing. Undersecretary Dobriansky said
that the USG shares these concerns and wants to work with the
GNZ on White Water to Blue Water initiatives, and overfishing
and sustainable management of ocean resources. Murdoch

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responded that the US as a world leader in public-private
partnerships, scientific research and responsible public
policy can have an impact on rapidly developing countries
that need tangible environmental policies. Murdoch offered
that the USG support for the Antarctica program beginning in
the 1950s was instrumental to the successful cooperation over
the past half century; the GNZ could not have afforded it at
the time and would not be able to continue now without USG

MFAT Roundtable

8. (C) In a follow-on roundtable meeting chaired by MFAT
Deputy Secretary Carolyn Forsyth, GNZ officials discussed a
range of environmental issues and good
governance/democracy/human rights matters of importance to
the bilateral relationship. In Antarctica, Forsyth noted the
excellent US-NZ cooperation, discussed the wind energy
generation proposal for McMurdo, and referred to NZ's
contribution to the logistics pool. Trevor Hughes of MFAT's
Antarctic Policy Unit discussed two key concerns of the GNZ
in the Antarctic region: expansion/diversification in
tourism and illegal fishing in the Convention on the
Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)
zone. Regarding tourism, Hughes pointed out that the numbers
of tourists coming to Antarctica have grown exponentially --
now at 35,000 in the Treaty area; 10 years ago the numbers
were only 10% of that figure. Hughes remarked that the GNZ
has been grateful for the policy coordination between New
Zealand and the US in Antarctic treaty meetings, and for the
recent USG-proposed resolution to limit landings of groups of
500 or more people on the continent. Environmental issues
surrounding tourists are also of concern to the GNZ,
continued Hughes, as the number of ships lacking ice
protection is growing. In addition, 40% of the tour ships in
Antarctica are flagged to countries that are not treaty
partners, said Hughes, adding that the M/S Explorer, which
sank off the coast of Antarctica in November 2007, was
flagged to Liberia. Undersecretary Dobriansky agreed that
tourism was an issue that needed to be addressed -- perhaps
at the next Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings; Pittman
suggested that the next consultative group meeting in Kiev in
June 2008 could look at enforceable protocols. Hughes noted
that New Zealand places observers on all tourism vessels
passing through NZ ports to ensure compliance with treaty
obligations. He added that some South American countries run
small hotels in Antarctica to fund their research programs.

9. (C) On illegal fishing and destructive fishing
practices, Carolyn Forsyth was pleased that the US and NZ
cooperate in the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management
Organization; she applauded the Organization's establishment
of interim measures during the April 2007 meetings in Chile.
New Zealand assesses the oceans and fish stocks as in a poor
state and there is increasing pressure in the southern
oceans. Trevor Hughes pointed to specific problems in the
Antarctic seas and damage to toothfish stocks, offering that
Hong Kong and Spanish fishing syndicates are the worst
offenders and that most of the fishing masters aboard the
illegal fishing boats are of Spanish nationality. He added
that the illegal fleets are using gill netting in the Indian
Ocean region below Australia but are being monitored by
Australian and French authorities; he worries as they are
pushed from that zone the fleets will move to the Ross Sea.
Undersecretary Dobriansky responded that one approach to
addressing the problem would be the actual implementation of
the 2006 UNGA resolution on destructive fishing practices.

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She agreed with the GNZ analysis of the illegal fishing
problem, noting that improved surveillance and information
sharing is needed. (Note: The New Zealand media on January
17 reported that a blacklisted fishing vessel flagged to
Sierra Leone and operated by a Spanish company was reported
in the Ross Sea CCAMLR zone; the GNZ reported the incident to
CCAMLR. End Note.)

Climate Change and Sustainability

10. (C) Turning to climate change and Bali, Carolyn Forsyth
said that the GNZ was pleased there was agreement under the
UNFCCC and glad the USG is part of the new negotiations. She
noted the differences between the US and NZ concerning
deforestation. Developing countries have moved to the point
of quantifiable, verifiable emissions measures, she observed,
and New Zealand hoped the Major Economies Meeting under US
auspices would feed into UNFCCC. Dobriansky offered that the
US was pleased that developing countries are part of the
negotiating process post-2012 and that the Major Economies
Meeting would complement and not compete with the overall
UNFCCC process. She underscored that there is united
bipartisan support in the U.S. for the major economies
initiative. The Undersecretary emphasized USG support for
the elevation of mitigation and adaptation discussions and
the financing of technological transfers. She agreed that
differentiation discussions are also timely as there are
significant differences between large, middle-income
countries such as Brazil and small island states. In looking
at the longer term global goals, inclusion of the major
economies is crucial, as China is overtaking the US in
emissions, added Dobriansky. She noted that the Ad Hoc
Working Group meeting in March/April 2008 will be important.
Pittman underscored the importance of countries such as New
Zealand adding their voices in support of a climate change
agreement that includes all major emitters, not just
developed countries.

11. (SBU) Carolyn Forsyth discussed sustainability in New
Zealand, and the GNZ's goal of becoming the first society to
be truly sustainable. The policy is multifold, drawing in
businesses, government procurement, waste minimization, and
households. Six government agencies are scheduled to become
carbon neutral by 2012, noted Forsyth. Yvonne Lucas from the
Ministry of Economic Development explained that the GNZ is
placing emphasis on both the public and private sectors;
there is great activity on energy efficiency and improved
environmental outcomes, but the GNZ is still wrestling with
coordination issues. Undersecretary Dobriansky congratulated
GNZ officials for their sustainability approach, noting that
New Zealand can be a model for other countries. She
applauded New Zealand for hosting UN Environment Day in June,
and announced that the US would host the Washington
International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC) in March
and would welcome GNZ participation. In a subsequent meeting
with New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark (septel),
Dobriansky on behalf of the Secretary invited her to attend.

Pacific Islands

12. (C) Moving to Pacific island governance issues, MFAT
Pacific Director John Adank briefed the Undersecretary on GNZ
views towards the southern Pacific region. The succession of
coups in Fiji has been worrisome, said Adank, and the GNZ has
seen the challenges of reinstating democracy in the lead up

WELLINGTON 00000024 005 OF 008

to the March 2009 elections. The international community
should ensure the Fiji interim government puts in place the
necessary milestones to achieve successful elections; the GNZ
worries that the interim government is trying to change the
constitution before the elections, noted Adank. The Pacific
Island Forum results from Tonga in 2007 were not encouraging,
he added. New Zealand and others should promote an
environment whereby the Fijian people believe elections will
take place; the current environment on the island suggests
the military is firmly in control, said Adank.
Undersecretary Dobriansky mentioned that the USG had found
Cape Verde to be a useful partner to the Timor Leste
electoral process as both were small islands. Adank said a
major concern is the Fiji interim government's promotion of a
People's Charter and a review of the Fijian constitution,
which only an elected government should do. He added that PM
Clark had sent a detailed letter outlining the GNZ's views on
the Charter to Frank Bainimarama. Both Adank and Dobriansky
agreed that women's participation in elections was important.
Carolyn Forsyth added that Pacific Island politicians do not
always see themselves as accountable to the people they
represent. Dobriansky updated MFAT officials on the Mali
Community of Democracies discussion surrounding the Asia
Pacific Democracy Partnership.


13. (C) Undersecretary Dobriansky outlined the interactions
between the Dalai Lama and Chinese officials over the past
six years, and noted that these meetings still had not
translated into practical results. The Dalai Lama would like
to see three issues addressed by the GOC: environmental
sensitivity, economic development that aids Tibetans and not
just Han Chinese, and an immigration policy that preserves
Tibetan culture and religion, which is threatened by the
influx of Han Chinese into Tibet. The Dalai Lama would also
like to make a pilgrimage to Beijing as well as Tibet, said
Dobriansky. MFAT Director for Asia David Taylor asked
Dobriansky if there was a way in which the GNZ and USG might
work together in the lead up to the 2008 Olympics to pressure
Beijing vis-a-vis Tibet; the Undersecretary promised to
reflect on the question and get back to New Zealand


14. (C) On Burma, Undersecretary Dobriansky underscored the
importance of this issue to the USG and the President's
personal commitment to continue the pressure on the military
regime. Carolyn Forsyth noted that Rangoon's leaders had
made some initial concessions after the crackdown but there
was little interest in genuine reform. Nigel Moore of MFAT
offered that New Zealand had put in place visa sanctions in
2003, was considering economic sanctions (although these
would have little to no tangible impact), and that China,
India and the ASEANs were key to applying pressure to
Rangoon's leadership. Although New Zealand has not favored
UN Security Council involvement up to this stage, PM Clark is
now considering support for UNSC action. Undersecretary
Dobriansky said that within the Council there exists greater
support than one year ago, and that the USG has pressed both
China and India.

North Korea

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15. (C) The Undersecretary thanked the GNZ for its help on
North Korea. MFAT's David Taylor noted that the GNZ ensures
that human rights issues figure in their conversations with
North Korean officials and that FM Winston Peters raised
human rights during his visit to Pyongyang in November 2007.
GNZ officials asked for an update on USG actions to remove
North Korea from the state sponsors of terrorism list and if
there had been a lifting of any trade sanctions under the
Trading with the Enemy Act.

PKO and CT Issues

16. (C) Wayne Higgins, Director for International Defense
Relations at the Ministry of Defense, briefed the
Undersecretary and Dean Pittman on the status of GNZ
peacekeeping deployments in Afghanistan, Timor Leste and the
Pacific region, Lebanon, and other parts of the globe.
Higgins noted that New Zealand's armed forces have focused on
"niche" contributions, but that the GNZ is commited to
international peace and security. Pittman noted USG
appreciation for the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction
Team (PRT) contribution in Bamiyan Province, Afghanistan, and
asked if the New Zealand public remained supportive of New
Zealand's work in Afghanistan; Higgins replied affirmatively
and added that Singapore had contributed medical and dental
officers to the Bamiyan PRT, just as New Zealand the GOS had
worked in Timor Leste. Pittman pointed out that New Zealand
was aready very active in support of international
peacekeeping efforts and said it would be a natural for the
GNZ to join the Global Peacekeeping Operations Initiative
(GPOI). Finally, Undersecretary Dobriansky discussed TIP
issues and prospects for US-NZ cooperation on TIP issues of
mutual concern through the establishment of a joint working
group. MFAT officials said that New Zealand is "on the same
page" as the US with respect to trafficking in persons, and
New Zealand is placing a great deal of emphasis on TIP in
their immigration and labor departments.

17. (C) Carolyn Forsyth briefed Undersecretary Dobriansky
about GNZ efforts to promote interfaith dialogue and how
these dovetail with counterterrorism security outcomes. New
Zealand, Australia, and Indonesia began a regional interfaith
program in 2004 following the first Bali bombing; meetings in
the Philippines and most recently (May 2007) in New Zealand
have followed. Forsyth underscored that the meetings are not
about religion; rather, participants seek to empower
moderates and marginalize radicalism. One of the positive
outcomes of the regional meetings has been improved Muslim
networks between countries and discussion about a Muslim
intra-faith meeting. New Zealand hopes to implement the
action plan put forward during the May 2007 meeting, she
said. Looking to the UN Alliance of Civilizations (AOC)
initiative, Forsyth mentioned that the absence of a USG
contribution garnered some criticism from speakers to the
October 2007 meeting in Spain. The GNZ interest in the AOC
is largely confined to practical projects on media,
education, and youth. Dobriansky responded that the USG also
appreciates the practical elements of the AOC but has noted
politicization within the Initiative. She said that the USG
has a number of lessons learned from US-led interfaith
initiatives that may be relevant to the GNZ; both she and
Pittman agreed that S/P would discuss these initiatives with
the New Zealand Embassy in Washington, particularly the War
on Ideas and ways to move Muslim youth away from radicalism.

US Dobriansky Meets Whaling Commissioner Palmer

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--------------------------------------------- --

18. (C) NZ International Whaling Commissioner (and former
PM) Sir Geoffrey Palmer, accompanied MFAT Environment
Division Director Jan Henderson met with US Dobriansky and
Dean Pittman on January 15 to discuss GNZ concerns with the
IWC and Japanese whaling policy. Palmer urged the USG to use
its influence with Tokyo to seek resolution of Japanese
whaling policy and the GOJ's role within the IWC, which
Palmer characterized as a "dysfunctional" organization that
has lost credibility as an international body among many
diplomats due to Japanese vote buying and a membership that
includes landlocked countries with no interest in whaling.
In New Zealand, Palmer underscored that the anti-whaling
movement is strong and the new Rudd government in Australia
has taken a tougher stance on whaling by threatening legal
action at the International Court of Justice. New Zealand
believes that a legal case at the ICJ will probably not
succeed and a diplomatic solution is needed; the Japanese
government needs to get something out of any GOJ decision to
curtail its so-called scientific research approach to
whaling, said Palmer, who added that the scientific loophole
needs to closed.

19. (C) Undersecretary Dobriansky offered that the USG and
GNZ have good collaboration on whaling and both share a
pro-conservation approach to the issue. She agreed to meet
with US Commissioner Hogarth as well as Deputy Secretary
Negroponte to discuss and solicit ideas. Palmer said that
with New Zealand in an election year and public opinion
staunchly opposed to whaling, no NZ politician can support
any level of whale slaughter; privately, he conceded that
there may be a sustainable harvest that can be applied to
some whale species. He applauded the work of Remi Parmentier
and the Pew Environment Group and noted that even Greenpeace
is not opposed to a deal with the Japanese; the Latin
American countries are firmly opposed to whaling. Palmer
proposed that the GNZ and the USG work towards what would
comprise a resolution during the March 6-8 IWC Intersessional
meetings in London in the lead up to the annual IWC meetings
in Chile in June. Dobriansky said that she would confer with
Washington officials and Japanese experts on her return to

US Dobriansky Meets Human Rights Commission Chairman
--------------------------------------------- -------

20. (SBU) Also on January 15, Undersecretary Dobriansky met
the Chairman of the New Zealand Human Rights Commission,
Rosslyn Noonan, in Auckland. At Dobriansky's request, Noonan
reviewed the independent commission's mandate to advocate
human rights and encourage harmonious relations among groups
within New Zealand as well as to receive and seek to resolve
complaints. Since 2001, it has placed a particular emphasis
on the concerns of Maori over inequitable implementation of
the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi, signed between the Crown and
Maori chiefs. The Commission participates in UN Human Rights
Commission meetings separate from the New Zealand Government.
While international activities have not been a major part of
its efforts, it has worked to strengthen the capacity of the
often small and understaffed human rights commissions in the
Pacific. This year the Commission will undertake, at the
request of the GNZ, a project with the Philippine military
and police to enhance their adherence to human rights
principles in carrying out their duties. The New Zealand
Police will assist by providing specific training to the
Philippine police in handling violence against women. In
response to U/S Dobriansky's question about whether the

WELLINGTON 00000024 008 OF 008

commission had established a counterpart relationship in the
U.S., perhaps with the Civil Rights Commission, Noonan said
that they had contacts with NGOs and state and local
commissions. She agreed it would make sense to reach out to
the federal level as well.
21. (U) Undersecretary Dobriansky and S/P policy officer
Dean Pittman have cleared this message.

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