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Labour will build on our proud tradition of independence

Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

Thursday, 20 October 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT
Labour will build on our proud tradition of independence in Foreign Affairs

Under Labour, New Zealand will build on its a proud history of independence in Foreign Affairs, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Maryan Street said today.

“New Zealand’s independence in matters of foreign policy is legendary and has been spurred on by the leadership of Labour prime ministers,” Maryan Street said, launching Labour’s policy.

“That tradition will continue under the next Labour-led government. We have strong values which we want to promote as a good international citizen. Our vision is of a peaceful, secure and prosperous world, governed well by democratic representation and characterised by social justice.

“We value deeply our relationships with our traditional friends such as Australia, Britain, Europe and the USA and will continue to develop those. But we also wish to see strong and deep relationships building with countries and regions of emerging influence such as China, India and Brazil. Our relationships with Asia and South America more broadly will be of increasing importance to New Zealand’s prosperity and security.

“Foreign Affairs is not just about trade, as this government would have us believe. It is about broad-based relationships of quality which will serve the international community well as we work collectively towards solutions to global problems such as climate change, environmental degradation, food security and conflict resolution.

“We also recognise that we have a special relationship with our near neighbours in the Pacific. We will work vigorously to address poverty, the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, environmental issues and the effects of climate change in the Pacific, as well as maintaining and restoring peace and democracy. We will approach Fiji anew while at the same time not diluting our commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

“We will revive the process around nuclear disarmament, joining with like-minded nations to promote negotiations towards a treaty to prohibit the threat and use of nuclear weapons.

“Human rights protection and the support of multilateral international bodies remain cornerstones to our foreign policy. These are elements which have been downplayed or disregarded by the current government. Labour will restore some integrity to our foreign affairs across all areas of international engagement,” Maryan Street said


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