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NZer Appointed Cook Islands Ambassador To EU

Cook Islands Ambassador Appointed To European Communities

The Prime Minister, the Hon. Robert Woonton, has today announced the appointment of Mr Todd McClay as the Cook Islands first Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the European Communities.

Mr McClay, a New Zealander and son of Hon.Mr Roger McClay, the current New Zealand Children's Rights Commissioner and former politician and Minister, is based in Brussels.

It will be Mr McClay's function as Ambassador to represent the Cook Islands in its official dealings with the European Union (EU) and the various EU institutions as well as to promote closer relations between this country and the EU.

In making the announcement, the Prime Minister made the following statement:

"It is my great pleasure to announce the appointment of Mr McClay as out first Ambassador to the European Union. Government has long sought to develop closer relations between the Cook Islands and the EU and that now we are a party to the Cotonou Agreement between African, Caribbean and Pacific States, the ACP, and the EU we have a sound basis upon which to develop those relations. I am confident that those relations will progress to our mutual advantage in the months and years ahead."

"The EU recently appointed their own Ambassador to the Cook Islands, Mr Frans Baan, based in Fiji. We now and he has visited the Cook Islands on a number of occasions, having met not only with Government but also the private sector and civil society. We are confident that he will continue to be an excellent representative of the Cook Islands in Brussels. Now that he has been recognized by the EU as the Cook Islands' Ambassador, his ability to act on Government's behalf in dealing with the EU will be greatly enhanced."

Ends

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