What can the NZ government do?
• Recognise that effective international cooperation, especially through the UN, is fundamental to both security and prosperity.
This needs to be a major policy focus, bringing together the departments, agencies and NGOs which have an input into this position. Clear policy statements could be made by the PM and other relevant ministers, and relevant experts would be engaged to expand on the issue to the public.
• Promote coordination between diplomatic services and community organisations to optimise NZ’s contribution to the effectiveness of the UN and international cooperation in general.
NZ needs to coordinate its political, diplomatic (both bilateral and multilateral), trade, NGO and relevant community activities to promoting effective global cooperation, particularly through strengthening the UN. In the same way as Human Rights has tended to be a continuing theme in international relations, an effective UN needs to also be a continuing theme, with a much greater emphasis. Extensive consultations with interested parties and academics around the country would be required to establish effective coordination.
• Improve NZ’s capability to pursue all possible avenues to promote the reform and the strengthening of the UN, including by restoring the recent reduction of the MFAT budget.
An effective programme must not be constrained by lack of funds. While efficiencies must be maintained, NZ has enormous potential to be engaged, and has too much to lose if international cooperation fails. Funds need to be available, for instance, to support NGO participation in all relevant delegations, to enable internships with the UN delegation, and to support those in the community who have demonstrated outstanding contribution to international cooperation.
• Establish an education and research program on multilateralism and the UN appropriate for the importance of these critical activities.
An important requirement to develop national capabilities to advance NZ’s international role in the world is an effective education and research program. Education materials need to be prepared and provided for all secondary schools. Community and university programmes need to be promoted, and an academic research centre established aimed at investigating optimal methods of promoting international cooperation.