Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Lee Asks IWC To Maintain Transpancy

Hon Sandra Lee Media Speech
Conservation Minister Asks IWC, In Short Speech To Delegates, To Maintain Transparency

(Eds note: this is not the Minister's South Pacific whale sanctuary speech which is now expected to be given early tomorrow morning NZ time)

IWC Plenary Session Agenda Item 3.2 (Secret Ballots)
New Zealand's proposed resolution on Transparency within the International Whaling Commission
(Transcript of actual speech by Hon Sandra Lee, New Zealand Minister of Conservation, to the IWC Plenary Session in London)

Mr Chairman,

As New Zealand's Minister of Conservation, I wish to state my country's deep concern for the future well being of the IWC lies behind this Resolution. The Resolution supports openness, transparency, continuing open access to the media and NGOs, and the restriction of secret ballots to the selection of the chairperson and the location of meetings. Finally, however, the Resolution also supports the independence of sovereign countries to participate in the IWC, without interference or coercion from other sovereign countries.

This final point lies at the centre of New Zealand's most immediate concerns. We recently received the transcript of an interview with a prominent member of the Japanese delegation. During that interview it was stated that there is "nothing wrong" with his country using its Official Development Assistance Programme "in order to get appreciation of Japan's position" on whaling issues.

My Prime Minister and Government view the proposition of vote-buying as outrageous and have publicly said so. Taking advantage of the poverty or vulnerability of developing countries and small island states to buy their votes can only be regarded as a serious misuse of power and influence by a wealthy nation.

I should not need to remind this organisation that Principle 10 of the United Nations Declaration on Environment and Development calls on States to, among other things, "facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available".

For many years, the IWC struggled to justify itself to the outside world because of its lack of transparency. However, increasing media access, an expanded observer role for NGOs, and keeping secret ballots to a minimum has alleviated this problem.

But all these attempts to increase transparency are made a mockery if sovereign governments lose the very thing that makes them sovereign -- the right to make their own decisions, without the undue influence of other states.

The 1970 Declaration on the Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation Among States, in accordance with the UN Charter stipulates that:

"No state may use or encourage the use of economic, political, or any other type of measures to coerce another state in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights and to secure from it advantages of any kind."

New Zealand fails to see how tied aid or vote buying promotes good faith, transparency
or basic respect for independent governments. My Government believes it is important that the IWC is not perceived as condoning such strategies that would ultimately see participation by all but a few affluent nations becoming an exercise in futility.

It is disappointing that Japan is using such tactics as we have confidently worked alongside Japan in the United Nations and many other international fora.

My Government is sincerely disturbed, therefore, by conduct and comment that argues that such tactics are legitimate and appropriate.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Rivals For The Covid Saliva Testing Dollar

If you want a good insight into what the limits of tiny, barely discernible steps to reduce poverty actually look like, delve into the latest Statistics Department figures on poverty in New Zealand Most of the nine measures utilised reveal little or no progress in combatting poverty over the 21 months to March 2020... More>>


 

Government: Reserve Bank To Take Account Of Housing In Decision Making

The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into ... More>>

ALSO:


RNZ: Alert Levels Remain

There are no new community cases of Covid-19 today, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says at least half of the Papatoetoe High School community have been tested and the results that have come through so far have all been negative... More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: Latest Release Of Child Poverty Statistics

All measures of child poverty were trending downwards, prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, across the two years since year ended June 2018, Stats NZ said today. The COVID-19 lockdown in late March 2020 affected Stats NZ’s ability to collect data from households ... More>>

ALSO:


NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>

Parliament: Kiwi MPs Among The “Most Educated In The World”

New analysis of MP qualifications reveals New Zealand’s Parliament is one of the most educated and highest qualified in the world, and significantly more educated than Australia’s. The research, by Mark Blackham of BlacklandPR and Geoffrey Miller ... More>>

The Dig: An Illogical Ideological Struggle

Dig beneath all the trade wars and the arguments to the effect that the USA should not permit China to achieve economic and technological superiority, or even parity, and you find the real reason behind the conflict... More>>

Travel: Government Eases Visa Restrictions For Visitors In New Zealand

Visitor visa holders will be able to stay in New Zealand a little longer as the Government eases restrictions for those still here, the Minister of Immigration has announced. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels