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Jim McClay Gives ANZAC Lecture In Washington

Jim McClay Gives ANZAC Lecture In Washington


Ambassador to UN Jim McLay and Ambassador to the US Mike Moore at the ANZAC Lecture, Georgetown University. Photo by Charles Sneiderman.

A room full of people braved the rain and the cold to attend the annual ANZAC Lecture, presented on April 7 by Jim McLay, New Zealand's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations. The speech and reception were held at the prestigious Georgetown University.

The summary of the speech and the text were provided by CANZ, Georgetown's Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies, and by the NZ Embassy in Washington, D.C.

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Speech: SmallStateattheBigTableLatestMon.pdf


A Small State at the Big Table; New Zealand, Multilateralism and the UN Security Council; Hon Jim McLay, CNZM QSO; Speech Summary

• New Zealand last served on the UN Security Council (UNSC) in 1993-1994, when it took leading roles on many issues. This October it will vie with Spain (last served in 2005-2006) and Turkey (2009-2010) for one of two UNSC seats.

• New Zealand is the world's 8th oldest democracy, with a reputation for fair representation of all interests, and for political and constitutional stability.

• New Zealand has the political and economic independence to form, sustain and act on its own judgment – it doesn’t march to the beat of anyone’s drum.

• New Zealand’s foreign policy is global, forward-leaning and independent; it has its own distinctive, independent voice, which is broadly supported by all our major political parties (so policy doesn’t change in electoral transitions). It has no political alliances, and isn’t “G-Anything”, leaving it free to speak out on crucial issues.

• Fairness and natural justice are New Zealand's “Southern Cross”; and we’d take that to the UNSC table, seeking fairer balance, and working for better outcomes.

• Based on our own experience, we attach importance to effective regional organisations, which have a deep understanding of local context and problems. We need practical partnerships with regions, and we’d advocate for these much earlier in an emerging problem. We are aware of concerns that the UNSC doesn’t always respond to African Union regional expectations. Page 2 of 3

• Conflict prevention (under Chapter VI of the UN Charter) and partnerships with regional organisations (under Chapter VIII), should help to reduce the need for expensive peacekeeping operations.

• Many states regard Climate Change as an existential threat, which must be addressed by the UNSC; fairness demands that they be heard on that issue.

• The UNSC and its members have high responsibilities to the UN Charter, to the UN membership, and to the global population. The UNSC must focus on the country situations on its agenda, and on those whose lives are daily at risk. We’d advocate for greater attention to protection of civilians; because, when protection fails, it’s often accompanied by mass atrocities.

• In its last UNSC term, New Zealand was known as a good, informed and sympathetic listener (eg, in respect of Rwanda), and will seek out, consult with and listen to those whose faces are pressed against the Council window.

• We are committed to fairness, independence and balance; we’d represent all 193 UN members, regardless of size, region, grouping, culture, ethnicity or religion.

• New Zealand has six clear messages about UN Security Council membership –

1. We’d bring a fresh perspective, drawing on our distinctive, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, Asia-Pacific identity.

2. We have an independent, consistent, bipartisan foreign policy; a record of working to solve problems with partners; and of seeking practical, constructive results.

3. We are committed to fairness and balance; we’ll listen with an open mind; we’ll speak without fear or favour; and we’ll seek for all states to be heard.

4. We’d advocate for conflict prevention, and would address root causes of conflict.

5. As a founder-member of the UN, New Zealand has been an active and effective contributor; and is committed to the international rule of law.

6. And, as a small state, New Zealand will be an advocate for small states.

• New Zealand seeks again, to be a distinctive, independent voice on a UN Security Council which needs just that. If you want to know what we’d do as a Council member, don’t just listen to our promises for the future, look to what we did in the past; because past performance is a strong measure of future promise.

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