INDEPENDENT NEWS

New Zealand Candidate Withdrawn

Published: Thu 30 Sep 1999 03:59 PM
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rt Hon Don McKinnon, has said that New Zealand s withdrawal from the elections for a United Nations budgetary committee was part of the horse-trading that goes on for UN candidatures.
"New Zealand is about to complete a three year term on the committee, known as the ACABQ", the Minister said. "We received a good deal of encouragement to stand again, for another term".
"These elections take place on the basis of so-called "regional" entitlement to seats. New Zealand is a member of the ‘Western European and Others’ Grouping, which is entitled to two seats in the forthcoming elections to the ACABQ".
"There were three candidates from the Group ‘ United States, France and New Zealand ‘ for two seats. Although New Zealand initially had good support within the Group for our candidature, the US ran a strong argument that the group should endorse the US and French candidatures, which was ultimately supported by the European Union".
"There’s obviously a strong logic for having two of the largest contributors to the UN on the budgetary committee" the Minister said.
"Particularly when the US Administration is trying to get a package through Congress to reduce its UN arrears. In these circumstances they have built up a lot of support within the Western European and Others Group, and we have therefore withdrawn to allow unanimity."
"We had a very good candidate, but I’m confident the US and France will also make a worthwhile contribution to the UN’s budgetary process."
Mr McKinnon said that New Zealand’s membership of the Western European and Others Group, for UN electoral purposes, was an historical anachronism.
"It’s one of the things we’d like to get changed at the United Nations", he said. "We should really be part of a grouping with the rest of the Pacific. In fact, this was one of the issues I mentioned in my speech to the United Nations General Assembly earlier today." (29 September, New York Time).
"We’ll keep working on it, along with some other changes to update United Nations procedures."
ENDS

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