What does NZ need of the UN?
The current position
Over the last few decades the world has achieved much in addressing violence and poverty, and in developing a level of global cooperation which is quite unprecedented. While major threats to world peace continue in the Middle East, and Pakistan, as well as in parts of Africa, nearly all of the rest of the world is in unprecedented states of tranquillity. Further, in 2000, the Millennium program brought together virtually all countries in a concerted effort to substantially address the root causes of poverty – a program which is on-going. Many other programs in health, human rights, environment, governance and other areas are being pursued, largely through the UN and its agencies. Much of this development has occurred only in the last two decades.
This level of cooperation has made a substantial impact on our national security and prosperity. Traditionally, issues of security have been addressed principally through military capability and alliances, and prosperity through business entrepreneurialism and competition. Now international cooperation plays a crucial role in both these areas.
These issues were reflected in the statement by our Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon Murray McCully, to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2010.
We want to make our world safer, more secure, and more prosperous.
These goals will require strong collective action with a focus on practical outcomes.
New Zealand is seeking every opportunity to contribute. We are a young, small, and fair-minded country.
We depend upon a United Nations that is effective and credible.
International cooperation cannot be taken for granted as we face growing challenges. In particular, as more nations seek to achieve the lifestyles that we enjoy, it is becoming increasingly evident that the current trajectory is unsustainable. Climate change is one of the more obvious issues, but fossil fuel and mineral supply, ocean resources, biodiversity, overpopulation and many other issues threaten to overwhelm global capabilities and generate conflict between nations.
As a geopolitical power shift emerges in the Asia-Pacific region and national interests come into conflict, the established rules for maintain power balances will change. If international cooperation cannot match these challenges, powerful nations will be attempted to use superior power, either commercial or military, to pursue their interests at the cost of smaller nations. Certainly NZ is unlikely to be able to rely on its traditional allies. As that happens, fewer and fewer of our global problems will become amenable to cooperative solutions, and causes for dispute will increase.
Another way of putting it:
New Zealand's national interest requires an effective UN as the essential foundation for international cooperation.