H. E. Ms. Rosemary Banks, Chairperson of the Delegation
29 September 2008
© UN Photo
Click for caption and to enlarge
ROSEMARY BANKS (New Zealand), noting that her country was among those assisting with urgent food security needs during the current crisis, said a successful conclusion to the Doha Development Round would alleviate much of the pressure on the demand-supply imbalance. New Zealand supported the Millennium Development Goals “Global Call to Action Campaign”, and noted the urgency of revitalizing efforts toward that end, among them, developing and strengthening partnerships between traditional and new donors, the private sector, civil society and through South-South Cooperation. New Zealand was increasing its official development assistance by 62 per cent, and focusing that aid on countries of the Pacific, the area least likely after sub-Saharan Africa to meet the Millennium Goals.
Expressing her country’s support for the Secretary-General’s proposals to improve the human resources management system, she reiterated her disappointment in Fiji’s lack of progress towards restoring democratic Government, and urged that country to hold elections by next March, in accordance with its constitution. New Zealand was pleased at the progress made in institution-building and improved governance in Timor-Leste. It supported the extension of the United Nations mandate in that country beyond February. New Zealand urged the authorities in Myanmar to achieve national reconciliation through open and constructive dialogue, and to respect universal human rights.
Turning to Africa, she said the targeting of civilians by State and non-State parties in Darfur was a flagrant breach of international human rights law, but the Power-sharing agreement in Zimbabwe was encouraging. In the Middle East, New Zealand supported all attempts to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict through a two-State solution. Elsewhere, the international community must devote more resources to ending the conflict in Afghanistan, and help the Afghan people rebuild their country. New Zealand also praised improvements in relations between China and Taiwan, and encouraged the two countries to maintain the dialogue they had established.
Regarding the International Criminal Court, she urged States to ensure its independence and success, so as not to betray the victims of egregious crimes. New Zealand had played an active part in designing the new Human Rights Council, and would be seeking election to that body next year. New Zealand reiterated the importance of the “responsibility to protect”, and called on the Security Council to be prepared to protect people from ethnic cleansing, genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, when national authorities failed to do so.