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Cablegate: New Zealand Views On Usg and the Human Rights

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHWL #0199 1820353
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 300353Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5299
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0133
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 0495

C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000199

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/ANP, IO/UNP, DRL/MLGA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/26/2018
TAGS: PHUM PREL NZ
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND VIEWS ON USG AND THE HUMAN RIGHTS
COUNCIL

REF: STATE 61034

Classified By: Political/Economic Counselor Margaret McKean; Reason 1.4
(b) (d)

1. (C) On June 18, Pol/Econ Counselor met with MFAT Deputy
Director for the UN, Human Rights and Commonwealth Division,
Michael McBryde to discuss reftel contents. McBryde had
recently returned from Geneva, where he had participated in
the Human Rights Council discussions. Senior MFAT Policy
Officer from the same Division, Richard Kay, also
participated in the meeting. Pol/Econ Counselor presented
the USG arguments based on points provided in reftel.
McBryde opened by stressing that New Zealand attaches a great
deal of importance to the Human Rights Council and is seeking
a seat during the May 2009 HRC elections. He allowed that
the GNZ sees some validity to the points raised by the USG.
McBryde also noted that New Zealand had high hopes that the
current Human Rights Council would be an improvement over the
old Commission. Nevertheless, the GNZ is committed to trying
to work with the HRC.

2. (C) McBryde reported that he went to a WEOG meeting in
Geneva during his two-week stay in which a USG official
briefed WEOG representatives on the points outlined in
reftel. The WEOG Vice President from the Netherlands,
continued McBryde, represented the views of some other
delegates by noting that many shared the views of the USG
regarding the HRC. The question is whether you stay in the
room and try to fix the problems, or leave. He offered that
the USG presence at the meetings was practically "invisible."
McBryde said that while in Geneva, New Zealand Permrep
Ambassador Don MacKay had noted that the USG was not in a
position to complain about the structure of the HRC, having
objected to universal membership in the body (which New
Zealand supported). There are majorities from parts of the
world that are less than helpful in the HRC. According to
McBryde, there is perhaps less support for the current USG
position on the HRC as a result.

3. (C) The MFAT official noted in closing that he hoped the
USG decision on the HRC would not preclude US-New Zealand
engagement on issues such as Burma, and that the two
countries could continue close cooperation on a range of
human rights issues.
MCCORMICK

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