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WikiLeaks: NZ supports most US goals for UN reform

WikiLeaks cable: NZ supports most US goals for UN reform

January 26, 2006 NZ supports most US goals for UN reform

date:2006-01-26T01:51:00 source:Embassy Wellington origin:06WELLINGTON67 destination:This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available. classification:CONFIDENTIAL reference:06SECSTATE4745|06SECSTATE4746 ?C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000067



E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/25/2016 TAGS: PREL, ADCO, PHU... ?C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000067




REF: A. (A) SECSTATE 4746 B. (B) SECSTATE 4745

(U) Classified by: Charge d'Affaires David R. Burnett. Reasons: 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (SBU) New Zealand concurs with most U.S. objectives for UN reform. Charge delivered refs A and B on January 25 to Caroline Forsyth, deputy secretary of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Forsyth said that reforming UN management was a key priority for New Zealand, that all UN mandates should be reviewed, and that the new Human Rights Council should have the ability to consider country-specific resolutions. But New Zealand does not want to specify that a two-thirds vote be required to pass such resolutions, and it does not support automatic P-5 membership on the council.

Management reform ----------------- 2. (C) Forsyth said giving the Secretariat the authority to shift staff positions and to redeploy resources to meet the UN's goals is in line with how New Zealand manages its public services. New Zealand was pleased to contribute to the compromise that set both a spending cap and a deadline for implementing the management reforms. Forsyth saw the extended deadline as providing time to encourage the Secretariat to sort out personnel and budget regulations and

SIPDIS achieve compromises on reforms. But she predicted that the G-77 would hamper progress on the reforms.

3. (SBU) All UN General Assembly mandates should be reviewed, Forsyth said. While the issue needed to be handled sensitively, she added, the "deadwood" needed to be cleared away. Forsyth pointed out that some member states portray management reform and mandate review as attacks on the UN. She also noted the U.S. need for these reforms to be implemented to ensure Congressional support for the organization.

Human Rights Council -------------------- 4. (SBU) Forsyth cited progress on forming a Human Rights Council, but expected its creation would entail difficult tradeoffs. New Zealand prefers a smaller council. Forsyth said her government did not support the automatic inclusion of the Security Council's permanent members on the Human Rights Council, which, if the council were smaller, would "crowd out the rest of us." The Charge said that a smaller group would improve efficiency. He added that, while the United States is not seeking guarantees that it or other P-5 members be elected to the council, it wants members to have strong human-rights records. Forsyth said consensus had not yet formed, even among like-minded countries, on whether a two-thirds "supermajority" should be required to elect council members, and she warned that such a requirement could be a "two-edged sword" by not letting some members in.

5. (SBU) Forsyth said New Zealand wants the council to be able to address country-specific situations. But it opposes requiring a two-thirds majority for the passage of country-specific resolutions and instead would leave the issue to the council to resolve. The Charge expressed concern that if the council set its own rules for voting, the bar might be placed so high that no country could be taken to task for human rights abuses.

Other issues ------------ 6. (C) New Zealand was disappointed that the Outcome Document did not include nonproliferation and disarmament goals, but it remained committed to building on the World Summit and improving the UN's operations, Forsyth said. Like the United States, New Zealand was pleased with the effort to establish a Peacebuilding Commission. While continuing to oppose the veto in the Security Council, New Zealand supports Japan's membership in an expanded council. But Forsyth did not expect council reform to occur anytime soon, and she predicted that the process of selecting a new Secretary-General would "not encourage boldness."



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