Cablegate: New Zealand Response On Icj Advisory Opinion On
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000599
DEPT FOR EAP/ANP,
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/13/2014
TAGS: PREL NZ UNGA
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND RESPONSE ON ICJ ADVISORY OPINION ON
ISRAELI SECURITY BARRIER
REF: STATE 152014
Classified By: POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC COUNSELOR
TIMOTHY ZUNIGA-BROWN, FOR REASONS 1.5(B,D)
1. (SBU/NF) Post delivered reftel demarche to Moira Turley,
Middle East and Africa Division, New Zealand Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT.) Despite strong support for
the U.S. position, Turley stated that the GoNZ is deferring a
final decision on its vote until it has seen the final text
of the UNGA resolution. Turley noted that the GoNZ agreed
that the issue should not have been referred to the ICJ, and
had publicly called for Israel to cease construction of the
wall and return to the negotiating table. Turley referred to
a statement by New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Phil
Goff, which noted that the wall is a barrier to the concept
of a two-state solution, and impeded the right of the
Palestinians to self-determination. In his statement, Goff
took the opportunity to call for the implementation of the
Roadmap promoted by the U.S., UN, EU and Russia-- which New
Zealand fully supports.
2. (U) Begin Text of NZ FM Goff statement:
Hon. Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
10 July 2004
New Zealand has welcomed a strong ruling by the International
Court of Justice that Israel's West bank barrier is illegal
and that construction of it should be stopped immediately.
Foreign Minister Phil Goff said the International Court, by
an overwhelming 14-1 majority, had found that the barrier's
construction was &tantamount to annexation8 and impeded the
Palestinians, right to self-determination.
&This decision comes on top of a recent Israeli High Court
decision requiring the Israeli Defence Force to look again at
the route of part of the wall,8 Mr. Goff said.
&Israel needs to take serious note of the court's ruling,
and of international opinion. While it has a valid right to
protect its people from suicide bombings, the construction of
any wall should be on its legal 1967 border.
&A combination of the wall built deep into occupied
territory and the continued building of Israeli settlements
on land it does not have rights to under international law,
makes Israel's action look like de facto annexation.
&I have personally seen the impact that the wall has had on
Palestinian people; isolating towns, separating farmers from
their land, and dividing families.
&Even the Israeli High Court has ruled that the hardships
experienced by Palestinians because of the wall were
disproportionate to any benefit Israeli received through
protection of its citizens.
&The wall is a barrier to the concept of a two-state
solution and to implementing the Roadmap promoted by the
United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia,
which New Zealand supports
&New Zealand reiterates its own call for Israel to cease
construction of the wall, in line with the International
Court's ruling. Both sides must come back to the negotiating
table, which is the only path for achieving a sustainable
peace,8 Mr. Goff said.
3. (C/NF) Comment: Although the GoNZ agrees that the focus
should remain on the Roadmap as a means to a peaceful
settlement, it is unlikely to convert from an abstention to a
no vote. The GoNZ prides itself on its multi-lateral
credentials and increasingly looks to the NAM for cover. On
this as on other issues, the GoNZ will likely see converting
to a no vote as undermining NZ's ability to work with a
"broad range" of parties (read NAM) in the UN.