Cablegate: Country Clearance to the Cook Islands for Tsar

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A


1. Embassy grants country clearance to Transportation
Security Administration Representative (TSAR) Scottie R.
Laird to travel to Rarotonga, Cook Islands, September 17-23,
2004. The purpose of travel is to complete National
Information for the Cook Islands.

2. Embassy understands no assistance is required.

3. Point of contact at Embassy Wellington is Pol/Econ
Office Manager Bridget Walsh. Contact details are as

Office: 644-462-6033
Fax: 644-472-3537
Cell: 027-451-2540

Security Assessment

4. The Cook Islands is a Parliamentary democracy in free
association with New Zealand, on which they rely for defense
and assistance in meeting low-level security threats. The
Embassy is not aware of any specific threats to U.S.
facilities or personnel at this time in the Cook Islands.
However, in light of the worldwide security alert all
visitors should heighten their security awareness and report
any unusual incidents to the Regional Security Office at the
Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand.

5. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in
the U.S. and the November 2002 terrorist bombing in Bali,
there has been concern that terrorists might seek to take
advantage of the low level of security maintained in small
island states such as the Cook Islands in order to target
tourists in previously safe destinations. New Zealand has
worked with the Cook Islands to improve airport security in
response to this possibility. Terrorist actions may
include, but are not limited to, suicide operations,
bombings, or kidnapping. Possible threats include
conventional weapons such as explosive devices or non-
conventional weapons, including chemical or biological
agents. Terrorists do not distinguish between official and
civilian targets. Targets may include facilities where
Americans and other foreigners congregate or visit, such as
residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship,
schools, hotels, outdoor recreation events, resorts, and
beaches. U.S. citizens should increase their security
awareness at such locations, avoid them, or switch to other
locations where Americans in large numbers generally do not

6. The Cook Islands offshore finance industry has come
under scrutiny regarding possible money laundering. The
Cook Islands has been included on the OECD's list of non-
cooperating states in the fight against money laundering.

7. As a result of recent military action in Iraq, there is
a potential for retaliatory actions to be taken against U.S.
citizens and interest throughout the world. Public
demonstrations carry the potential for precipitating
violence directed at American citizens.

8. U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a
heightened state of alert and some have drawn down their
dependents and/or personnel. These facilities may
temporarily close or suspend public services from time to
time for security reasons. In those instances, U.S.
embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide
emergency services to American citizens. Monitor the local
news and maintain contact with the nearest American Embassy
or U.S. Consulate.

9. Crime: Appropriate common sense precautions should be
taken, especially at night, to avoid becoming a target of

10. Weather: Severe cyclones present a threat during the
hurricane season, which is from November to March.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Myanmar: Military Must Stop Murdering And Jailing Protestors – Bachelet

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday said security forces in Myanmar must “halt their vicious crackdown on peaceful protestors,” following another day of deadly violence across the country on Wednesday... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>

2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>

Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>