Wednesday, 2 April 2014


3 April 2014

Being a good international citizen can have its highs and lows. Take the last couple of weeks as an example.

Two weeks ago a selection of international leaders, armies of bureaucrats and diplomats, and hordes of journalists deported to The Hague for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Summit. This is another of these Obama initiatives that show all the trappings of good engagement and process, but which in reality has achieved very little to date. And this last meeting was no exception. Indeed, reporters covering it seemed reduced to comment more about the external surroundings, than the substance, because there was apparently none.

Yet, barely had the doors closed on this nadir when The Hague was in the limelight again when the International Court of Justice ruled 12 to 4 against the validity of Japan’s so-called scientific whaling in the Antarctic. This was a triumph of international action, led by Australia with New Zealand in the van, and a powerful assertion of the strength of international institutions operating at their best. International citizenship suddenly seemed that much more worthwhile.

If the Nuclear Non-Proliferation séance left people wondering, then the International Court decision surely confirmed the significance and importance of New Zealand’s bid later this year for one of the non-permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council. New Zealand has always been a strong supporter of the United Nations, from the days of Peter Fraser and his role in its establishment in 1945, through to the work of Sir Leslie Munro as President of the General Assembly in the late 1950s, and the current role of former Prime Minister Helen Clark heading the UN Development Plan. We have also served a couple of terms on the Security Council with distinction, and are generally recognised as a safe and wise pair of hands, even if our size and isolation might suggest otherwise.

Despite the obvious frustrations of the international system, it essentially works, as New Zealand has found on a number of occasions. From the landmark decision against French atmospheric nuclear testing in the 1970s, through to this week’s whaling decision the International Court (on which a prominent New Zealand jurist sits currently) has been a positive for us. So too, was our insistence on staying out of the Iraq conflict until and unless specific action was mandated by the United Nations, and weapons of mass destruction discovered.

So while being left off the background map at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Summit might have made us wonder about the worth of international engagement, the whaling decision and history overall are timely reminders that, frustrations and all, being a good international citizen is worthwhile, and is a role New Zealand should continue to play.    

13 comments:

  1. Hey Peter... can you tell us if the 2000+ people that joined our rallies to BAN synthetic drugs will be heard? Please Peter this stuff is really really bad... I beg you took listen to the people and witness the damage this is doing to the next generation. Cheers Jamie

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  2. Hey Peter Dunne, how can you ignore the fact that this crap is killing our people and destroying lives on a daily basis?!?! These rallies are not going away and will continue to grow, time for you to listen to the people of NZ, just once, we beg you, BAN ALL SYNTHETIC DRUGS!!!!

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  3. Yes, I second that request by Jamie. Mainstream New Zealand people are becoming more aware of how serious the health issues are surrounding addictions to synthetic highs and are not supportive of the legalisation. Changes must be made. Rallys will continue to until this happens. Kristika

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  4. How many more families have to be torn apart Peter? How many more Mums and Dads need to fight for their children so hard that it almost destroys them? Every single person at those rallies yesterday have their own nightmare to share!! You and this government can stop it now!! Tear up that legislation and make a TOTAL ban of any substances that are sold soley to MAKE YOU HIGH!! Its that simple!!! DO IT NOW!!!!!

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  5. Peter Please explain the low risk in these drugs you so proudly push forward a world first in NZ http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/9909563/Legal-high-habit-takes-teen-to-rock-bottom this is happening everywhere CARE TO REPLY

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  6. That moment wen a year 8 boy in my class says.....miss I haven't got my laptop today but I will have it on tuesday. ( the boy and mum saved hard for this laptop) why I ask..... cos dad spent all the rent money on synthetics and mum needed money so we dont get kicked out. ..... but il get my laptop back on tuesday mum said. ............a year later still no laptop.

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  7. check out whats happening #peterdunne In Memory of Harley, a Place you can share your Stories
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ban-Synthetic-Cannabis-Nz-Wide/1416012048654859

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  8. In 2008 My eldest son through no fault of his own had a workplace accident - my son and all of his family were right there with him supporting him and encouraged him that life still was worth living. He was truly amazing and coped with his disability with strength and determination.
    He has been lured in to the legal high/synthetic drug scene and was not long ago hospitalised with urosepsis and was so acutely unwell he and we thought he was going to die. He is now wrapped up in it all again and Im so scared if what the outcome is going to be. He has so much anger,he used to smile,he used to sing...no more does this happen.Peter I used to have a dream that one day there would be a spinal cord cure so I could see my Son walk again...my dream has changed I now dream that my son can detox safely frm these poisons and that NZ will hav no more synthetic cannabis/ legal highs around.
    One life affected is one too many...however this rubbish does not just affect one person..it affects everyone who loves that person and their friends. Its well overdue..has caused too mych damage. I loathe the hurt and harm legal highs have caused. NZ needs this banned.

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  9. The people, and the people alone, are the motive force in the making of world history.
    ITS TIME TO START A REFERENDUM!!

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  10. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/9909563/Legal-high-habit-takes-teen-to-rock-bottom

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  11. please we must put a stop to these syndetic drugs they must be illegalised I want the future for my son to be safe from this crap and for all our future generation in the future if this drug is not stop the next prime minister in the far future could be one of our young who has been hooked on this crap then where would our country be there is enough pain in this world we do not need our beautiful children hooked on this crap just so some idiot can get rich quick ban synthetics ban it the people of New Zealand are speaking to you hear our voices for we will roar this from every mountain top from every tree to save our kids hear us for we speak ban synthetics

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  12. I agree. Take this stuff off the shelves! Shopkeepers don't care what they are doing to our young people, as long as they make a profit..

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