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Cablegate: Asia Democracy Partnership Pitched to New Zealand

VZCZCXRO4857
PP RUEHPB
DE RUEHWL #0653/01 2421947
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 301947Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4657
INFO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 4944
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0070
RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA 0546
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0139
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 0295
RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY 0677
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0263
RUEHSV/AMEMBASSY SUVA 0627
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0648
RUEHBN/AMCONSUL MELBOURNE 0114
RUEHBAD/AMCONSUL PERTH 0027
RUEHDN/AMCONSUL SYDNEY 0573
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 WELLINGTON 000653

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

NSC FOR WILL INBODEN; G FOR PAUL LETTOW; EAP FOR RSP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/30/2017
TAGS: PGOV PHUM NZ KDEM
SUBJECT: ASIA DEMOCRACY PARTNERSHIP PITCHED TO NEW ZEALAND

REF: STATE 56424

Classified By: Poloff Gary Rex, for reasons 1.4(b) and (d)

1. (C) SUMMARY: On July 23 and 24, National Security Council
Senior Director William Inboden and Senior Advisor Paul
Lettow from the State Department's Global Affairs Bureau
briefed the U.S. proposal for an "Asia Democracy Partnership"
(ADP) (reftel) to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), and with John Hayes, an
opposition party spokesman for foreign affairs. MFAT and MOJ
officials posed questions about how the initiative could be
most practically structured and implemented. MFAT officials
stated that New Zealand was in complete agreement with the
goal of ADP and is likely to participate from the beginning,
though the GNZ has not yet made a decision. At the same
time, MFAT desires to continue discussions with the USG to
address "modalities" and questions relating to the South
Pacific. END SUMMARY.

-----------------
ADP PRESENTATIONS
-----------------

2. (SBU) Inboden and Lettow provided three separate
briefings on the concept of ADP: to a roundtable organized by
MOJ; to a roundtable organized by MFAT; and to MP John Hayes.
Imboden and Lettow first explained the genesis and purpose
of ADP, which emerged from the lack of a central resource to
coordinate and promote democracy programs in the Pacific
region. They explained that ADP would provide a forum and a
structure for prioritizing and coordinating such programs
among donor nations and for receiving requests for assistance
from nascent and struggling democracies in the area.
Membership in ADP would be by invitation only.
Inboden/Lettow described ADP as being demand driven and
modular, similar to the Tsunami core group, and explained
that it would not function to raise funds, establish a
secretariat or implement military or other sanctions. The

SIPDIS
next step would be to establish an ADP "core group" at the
upcoming Community of Democracies meeting in Bamako in
November 2007. That group would invite potential members to
an organizational and planning meeting in January/February
2008 at a location to be determined. Inboden and Lettow
reported that India was supportive of the ADP concept, that
Indonesian parliamentarians embraced the idea, and that the
Japanese and Canadian governments also favored the plan. The
Australian government, they added, is currently studying the
proposal but is positive about it.

----------------------------
MINISTRY OF JUSTICE BRIEFING
----------------------------

3. (C) Officials representing MOJ consisted of Gregor Allan
(Manager, International Law), Boris van Beusekom (Senior
Advisor, International Law), Stuart Beresford (Manager,
Public Law), Malcolm Luey (Manager, Criminal Law), Kelvin
Ratnam (Senior Advisor, Criminal Law), Chelly Walton
(Criminal Law Team), and Professor Jim Veitch (Victoria
University and MOJ Consultant). The MOJ interlocutors
commented that many small Pacific countries are already
overburdened with reporting and fora responsibilities, some
of them duplicative, and it is important to not add to that
burden. They also stated that ASEAN currently has hundreds
of committees with plenty of talk and no action. It would be
counterproductive to undercut existing processes, though the
proposal should move forward if the new process has a
positive effect, perhaps using the Pacific Island Forum as a
good model. They also pointed out that some coordination in
this subject is already occurring within the Asia Development
Bank, and similar organizations. Adding the word "Pacific" to
the title of ADP was recommended as well, if the organization
is serious about including the entire region.

--------------------------------------------- -

WELLINGTON 00000653 002 OF 003


MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE BRIEFING
--------------------------------------------- -

4. (C) Officials representing MFAT included Carl Worker
(Director, Americas Division), Elizabeth Halliday
(Co-director, Americas Division), David Taylor (Director
North Asia Division) and Rupert Holborow (APEC Directors),
Tim McIvor (Asia Division), and Rich Woodham (NZAID). They
raised several issues relating to ADP membership, and asked
how membership would be determined? Would only states be
invited? For example, what about Taiwan and Hong Kong? They
commented that use of the term "Asia" in the organization's
title would not seem to cover Australia, New Zealand, the
Pacific Islands or, for that matter, the U.S. and Canada, and
suggested the term "Asia-Pacific" in the organization title.
They also commented that a narrow invitation-only membership
could create problems. For example, Indonesia would
naturally want to become a member, Malaysia would expect to
be invited, and China might expect to be involved as well.
They stated that China's response to ADP would be critical,
and even the use of the term "democracy" within the ADP title
could be problematic for China. Furthermore, they asked how
ADP would involve the large number of civil society
organizations which play a significant role in supporting
good governance within the region?

5. (C) MFAT representatives also expressed concern about
duplication of effort, noting that ASEAN already works to
address good governance issues among its members. They
suggested that ADP's integration within the ASEAN framework
would be crucial. Woodham of NZAID stressed the already
ongoing efforts of the Pacific Island Forum's Secretariat
(PIF) and its initiatives in building democratic institutions
in Pacific Island countries as possibly being duplicative.
MFAT officials emphasized that they supported the goals of
ADP, but that the structure and process raised some
questions. In the words of one MFAT interlocutor, "This is a
mine field. The goal is fine, but the process and details
will be difficult to work out. The challenge is how to do it
without creating more problems."

6. (C) Carl Worker, Americas Division Director, stated
that the GNZ desires to be closely abreast of USG efforts in
this area, and that MFAT will consult internally on the
proposal. He said he has every expectation that New Zealand
will join on. He asked that the U.S. keep New Zealand
informed as planning for the initial stages of the ADP goes
forward.

--------------------------------------------- -----
INBODEN AND LETTOW REPLY TO MOJ AND MFAT QUESTIONS
--------------------------------------------- -----

7. (SBU) Inboden and Lettow responded to comments by MOJ and
MFAT by emphasizing that the ADP would merely help to
prioritize and coordinate programs promoting democracy in the
region, and would operate without a secretariat or formal
structure that might overlap or encumber the activities of
other multilateral frameworks. The ADP structure would be
flexible and action-oriented, with the intent of
supplementing the efforts of existing organizations, and not
duplicating them. Participation would also be "modular"
(meaning that participants could opt-in or opt-out of
particular programs as they desire) and demand driven
(meaning that ADP activities would be determined largely by
the expressed needs of nations requesting assistance). NGOs
and other civil society partners that support democracy
programs would, of course, be invited to participate in ADP
efforts. Inboden and Lettow also recommended that the
initial efforts of ADP should modestly target "low-hanging
fruit" -- that is, easy to accomplish projects such as
facilitating parliamentary exchanges, or helping to establish
effective civil/military relations.

8. (SBU) Regarding the name of the organization and whether
''Pacific'' should be included in the title, Inboden and

WELLINGTON 00000653 003 OF 003


Lettow expressed openness to other monikers. In any event,
they emphasized that the name should not stand in the way of
going forward and that the USG is willing to consider other
titles.

-----------------------
MP JOHN HAYES' BRIEFING
-----------------------

9. (C) John Hayes commented that the concept and goal of ADP
would obviously receive widespread endorsement. However,
according to Hayes, the Pacific is already crowded with
similar regional architectures promoting democracy and good
governance. Small Pacific nations have limited ability to
participate in yet another regional forum. He cautioned that
any such initiative must demonstrate political accountability
and the capacity to make a significant difference. In order
to produce gains, Hayes suggested that ADP must have direct
ministerial-level participation and backing. Inboden and
Lettow both assured Hayes that the ADP would have full senior
level support within the NSC and State Department.

-----------------------
LATER COMMENT FROM MFAT
-----------------------

10. (C) on August 17, in a subsequent private conversation
between Carl Worker and DCM Dave Keegan, Worker stated that
while the GNZ has not yet made a decision on ADP, he could
not imagine that NZ would not participate. Although,
according to Worker, without Indonesia's participation it
will be difficult for other nations to join. He commented
that the GNZ shares the same objectives with respect to ADP
and is supportive, but the GNZ still has questions relating
to "modalities" and to the South Pacific, and wants to have
more constructive discussions on the subject when the USG is
ready. "We're in much the same space on this as Australia,"
he added.

11. (U) Senior Advisor Paul Lettow has cleared on this
message.
KEEGAN

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