Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer.
“We take our place on the Council in difficult times with huge upheavals in the Middle East, tensions in Eastern Europe and challenges over the spread of Ebola in West Africa to name just a few.
“New Zealand will need to follow through on what it promised: to listen to the issues carefully and give each country’s perspective a fair hearing, to decide situations on the merits, not because they are backed by powerful interests and to stand up for small states who often don’t get a voice at the Security Council.
“Our reputation in the world was enhanced in 1994 when we were last on the Council and demanded greater international action during the genocide in Rwanda. We need to be just as independently-minded this time around.
“Congratulations are due to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs team who slogged hard to win this spot, both in New Zealand and throughout the world, particularly Jim McClay’s team in New York and the Government’s effort spearheaded by Murray McCully.”