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Jacinda’s comments to NATO

Written By: - Date published: 9:35 am, July 1st, 2022 - 38 comments
Categories: Europe, International, jacinda ardern, Ukraine - Tags: ,

Kia ora koutou katoa. 

It is a rare thing to have New Zealand represented at a NATO Summit. While we have worked together in theatres such as Afghanistan, and have been partners for just on a decade, today represents an important moment for our Pacific nation.  

New Zealand is not here to expand our military alliances. We are here to contribute to a world that lessens the need for anyone to call on them.

Aotearoa New Zealand has a fiercely held independent foreign policy. 

We are also one of the oldest and most stable liberal democracies. But that does not mean we judge our foreign policy interventions based on political ideology, but rather, the simple concept that when our shared humanity is undermined, we all suffer.  

And on that basis, we are unequivocal. The war in Ukraine is wrong.

Russia’s actions are an affront to all of us. Not because this conflict should be characterised as a war of the west vs Russia, or even democracy vs autocracy, it is neither. Rather it’s a war of Russia vs all those who hold a basic sense of humanity and chose to act on it.

The war in Ukraine is also an affront to our multilateral institutions.

Russia’s use of its UN Security Council position to block consideration of the invasion is morally bankrupt. And demonstrates why we must continue to seek reform of the UN.

In lieu of our ability to respond as a collective, New Zealand has responded as a nation.

We have implemented unilateral sanctions for the first time ever. We have provided humanitarian assistance and a special visa for family members of our Ukrainian community.

We are providing military and non-military aid. We have deployed our people, and our assets to facilitate the flow of supplies to Ukraine, and with the United Kingdom, we are training Ukrainian troops and supporting intelligence efforts.

We are also making significant contributions to the international legal effort to hold Russia accountable and are planning to intervene in Ukraine’s case against Russia in the International Court of Justice.

In all of this, we stand alongside those who share our same values. And here I want to acknowledge the leadership shown by NATO.

But I also come with a request: that we do not allow the legacy of the war in Ukraine to become an arms race, or an even more polarised and dangerous world.

Our solidarity with Ukraine must be matched by an equal commitment to strengthen international institutions, multilateral forums, and disarmament.

New Zealand is a Pacific nation. Our region, bears the scars of decades of nuclear testing. It was because of these lessons that New Zealand has long declared itself proudly nuclear free. Some may observe this status and assume us to have the naive privilege of such a position. I would argue, the world can’t afford anything less.

This crossroads that the world finds itself at, should be the basis for us to put a halt in the production of weapons that create our mutually assured destruction, because the alternative is unfathomable. And so, as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty convenes for its tenth review conference in August, I hope all members agree to send a strong message. Because if not now, when the threat is even greater, then when?

Sadly, the shift in environment we are currently seeing is not limited to one region. In our neighbourhood we see the mounting pressure on the international rules-based order. We see attempts to disrupt and destabilise – even New Zealand is targeted by Russian mis & dis information.

Separately China has in recent times also become more assertive and more willing to challenge international rules and norms.

Here, we must respond to the actions we see. We must stand firm on the rules-based order, call for diplomatic engagement and speak out against human rights abuses at all times when and where we see them.

But we also must resist the temptation to simplify the increasingly complex world in which we live.

We must use diplomacy at every opportunity, until it has proven to fail.

We must strengthen the resilience of the Indo-Pacific region through relationships and economic architecture rather than militarisation.

Let our actions be focused on de-escalation, peace and stability.

And on these terms – on these terms – we welcome the presence of like-minded partners in the region.

But finally, it would be wrong to assume that the current threats we face are the only ones that occupy the minds of our region. In fact, the primary security concern of the Pacific, is that of climate change.

Already in the Pacific, sea level rise is having an impact. There are more frequent natural disasters, impacting on livelihoods through food insecurity, and even greater hardship. We all have a responsibility to address these problems.

We look forward to engaging further with partners on this issue, the most consistent and universal threat we face.

So, I stand here today in solidarity, but also in the shared hope for a more peaceful and prosperous future.

Kei a tātou tēnei ao, kei a tātau hoki ēnei iti kahurangi.

This is our world; these are the challenges we must strive to overcome.

38 comments on “Jacinda’s comments to NATO ”

  1. lprent 1

    And needless to say, I have quibbles about some what she says.

    But I'd point out that if you want to just give inarticulate roars of rage – then I will boot your arse off this post and possibly the site. Explain your objections and make an argument. This is your warning. If you want to disagree, then do so with reason and facts.

    I think that Russia has long since stepped past the bounds of workable diplomacy. basically every since they invaded Georgia and set up two 'autonomous republics' and then annexed them in all but name in 2008. They have occupied them ever since putting up barbed wire and machine gun posts to prevent residents from crossing to their own property and land. Including that of local farmers. It was like they’d taken a lesson from the Israelis about how to control lands that they weren’t entitled to.

    What they did to Ukraine in 2014 with Crimea and two more 'autonomous republics' in Ukraine. Using exactly the same reasons as they had with Georgia 6 years earlier. It was like they’d swallowed a playbook and were too stupid to bother deviating from it.

    In none of these cases did they even attempt diplomacy nor did they respond with gestures of diplomacy ever since. They only pushed for a a recognition of their unlawful aggression.

    So I think that diplomacy is pointless outside of the pointed diplomacy of military action and the meat grinder to make such actions expensive.

    • Subliminal 1.1

      There is much to like about Arderns speech. The attempt to express independence in NZ foreign policy and focus on deescalation and disarmanent as well as climate change issues even while supporting Nato.

      Your final paragraph is a place where both yourself and Russia would agree – that diplomacy is now useless because the other side is no longer listening and that this is a trend that is evident from at least 2008. Given this, grievances will be expressed and resolved in battle.

      Personally, I prefer the implied openness to dialogue in Arderns speech.

  2. Ad 2

    I agree with Ardern.

  3. Anne 3

    But I also come with a request: that we do not allow the legacy of the war in Ukraine to become an arms race, or an even more polarised and dangerous world.

    Our solidarity with Ukraine must be matched by an equal commitment to strengthen international institutions, multilateral forums, and disarmament.

    I agree with Jacinda Ardern in reiterating the well publicised commitment NZ made back in the mid-1980s. Disarmament was the priority goal back then and it must still be today.

    David Lange will be forever remembered for the metaphorical 'fingers' he gave to Ronald Reagan and Maggie Thatcher – two arrogant and patronising leaders who thought they could trample over whomsoever they liked.

    NZ told them otherwise.

    For that reason alone it is appropriate that Ardern be the one to remind world leaders they have a moral duty to ensure current and future tensions do not escalate to the point of nuclear engagement.

    Simple as that.

    • Anne 3.1

      And don't let us forget Mitterrand and France. Another arrogant leader – along with his trouble shooters – who thought they could ride rough-shod on our soil.

  4. Patricia Bremner 4

    How well she expresses our Pacific position, reminding NATO and others of our over riding problems of Climate Change and China's encroaching presence.

    We have always defended the right of Law and diplomacy coupled with targeted assistance, and kept major issues squarely in the planning, as with our assistance for Ukraine.

    As a small trading nation, we rely on our markets for our products and the Ministers negotiating over there will be grateful for her reach and relationships. Whatever they return with will be hard won from 26 members of the EU.

    I have a vision from our personal travels, of French farmers tipping British beef out onto the road in 1990. Feisty and aggressive in making their protectionist point, they have changed little.

  5. Stephen D 5

    Should I ever have to teach writing and delivering speeches again, that is a brilliant model.

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    The PM’s statement on this is quite good actually, as much as I was trepidatious about the NZ Govt. engaging with NATO.

    She covers–condemning Russia’s military adventurism, no international ramping up of Nukes, no new military alliances for NZ, and climate disaster from a Pacific perspective –what's not to like?

    On China, the reality is that sooner rather than later, industrial Dairying needs to be strategically diminished.

    Various local issues remain of course, but I do not buy into the “Jacinda’s good overseas but not here” meme, it is about New Zealanders getting politically involved and organised again.

  7. Corey Humm 7

    Good speech and contrary to what the lunatics who one week think she's a puppet of china and the next week claim she's a puppet of NATO/USA/eu/UK, this is New Zealands independent foreign policy in action.

    Criticizing China and NATO and it's nuclear stockpiling and nato's obsession with it's member states domestic policies.

    Saying if you don't want the Pacific to be taken by china you need to start opening your wallets and markets and step up to the trading table unless you want the world's largest ocean to be dominated by one state.

    If America and EU don't open their wallets and markets, china will and is, it's time both put their money where their mouth is.

    Calling for denuclearization is the fundamental bedrock of NZ foreign policy. She did this and she did it well.

    NZs national security and economy relies on the rules based order, there's no divergence from our independent foreign policy by attending NATO and defending the rules based order.

    And to those saying this relationship with NATO is destroying our independent foreign policy, every government of NZ since NATOs foundation has worked with NATO.

    The right says this government is a puppet of china, the left says this government is a puppet of America, which means the truth is somewhere in the middle, somewhere independent.

    • Tiger Mountain 7.1

      Grow up Corey, until this country leaves 5 Eyes we are part of the Anglosphere, plugged into US and British Imperialism. Canada and Australia are deputy dogs in that scene, and NZ is the butt end wannabe–a data collector.

      • Patricia Bremner 7.1.1

        I thought that station was being closed down? Sure I read that somewhere.

      • Populuxe1 7.1.2

        Well that and the whole English-speaking liberal democracy OECD thing… There are worse things to be, like a tiny country and the end of the world with no friends right as global order is breaking down…

      • peter sim 7.1.3

        So what? 5 eyes is a shared information source. Yes they probably try to lie to each other. There are countless invisible spook gossip sharing sites every where. 5eyes has been "outed". So what?

        Everyone is doing the same.

  8. barry 8

    It is a good speech as far as it goes. But she avoided criticising her hosts for the same things that she lambasts Russia and China. The US still has Guantanamo Bay, Turkey is still in Syria. There are numerous other examples.

  9. roblogic 9

    tl;dr

    "Fuck Putin. Commie China are a bunch of dicks. Now can I pretty please have a Free Trade deal with Europe?"

    • Patricia Bremner 9.1

      Ha!! Robologic If you think that is what happened….. so they haven't been negotiating for years then?? Just since Putin invaded Ukraine!! Get real!!

  10. Jackel 10

    I'm glad Jacinda brought up about our nuclear free stance, we are better when we are a country more like the one David Lange envisaged and less like the one Roger Douglas envisaged.

    • roblogic 10.1

      That pointless idealism is denying New Zealand the energy source of the future.

      • Populuxe1 10.1.1

        It will never be the energy source of New Zealand's future because you can't fix geography and you can't play catchups with building nuclear power plants because the tend to become obsolete the moment the come on line.
        Also, for the love of all things sane, look at the monkey circus of Australia's nuclear submarines, which for all intents and purposes, would be identical for civilian nuclear power.

        • joe90 10.1.1.1

          Never say never.

          Plan for a nuclear power plant on Kaipara Harbour

          Plan for a nuclear power plant on Kaipara Harbour

          This plan for a nuclear power plant on Kaipara Harbour is from an Auckland Ministry of Works file. In the 1960s it was felt that nuclear power generation would be needed to supply increasing demands for electricity, especially in the Auckland region. In 1966 the Minister of Labour was quoted as saying that the first nuclear power station would be north of Auckland, probably in Kaipara, then a second south of Auckland, which could serve both Auckland and Hamilton. The third station would probably be in central Auckland “from developments overseas we believe that the construction of [nuclear power] stations in the centre of cities within 15 years or so will be acceptable.”

          • lprent 10.1.1.1.1

            Thankful that scenario never came to pass. The 60s LWR or CANDU type reactors of that era would have built up quite a stockpile of high and low level waste by now.

            You can pretty well guarantee that the MoW wouldn’t have planned what to do with it. Probably tossed it in the ocean like Japan used to. Or dumped it in stockpiles aroundbthe country as Japan does now.

            Reactors of that era would also be requiring decommissioning shortly. In our current systems I cannot see that going well.

      • Jackel 10.1.2

        Nuclear power plants in NZ. Are you serious? Who is being pointlessly idealistic here?

        The Neoliberalism that Douglas espoused is an ideal. That's why it has never really worked and now finally its chickens are coming home to roost. All other noise only hastening its day of reckoning.

        • roblogic 10.1.2.1

          We are still burning nasty Indonesian coal FFS. How are we going to power the forthcoming EV fleet and still claim to be controlling our carbon emissions?

          • Jackel 10.1.2.1.1

            The capitalist system must endlessly expand or it is in a state of collapse. We can do all we like bringing in clean energies, but until we move to a more sustainable nonexpasionary system climate change and resource depletion will persist. We don't need endlessly more 'pointless' stuff to buy.

          • Populuxe1 10.1.2.1.2

            Our national generation is approximately 84% renewables, and of the rest approximately 6% is from "burning nasty Indonesian coal". I don't care how state of the art your reactor is, we're still on one of the most active fault lines on the planet.

            • KJT 10.1.2.1.2.1

              One of the many detremental effects of privatising essential infrastructure.

              No incentive for power companies to build new more sustainable generation, as it would lower their dividends.

              Too much power availability lowers the amount they can charge. Especially for peak time spot pricing.

              The main effect of keeping Tiwai point going, is to keep power in shorter supply to underpin power company profits. An expensive subsidy to power company shareholders, to add to the amount we are already subsidising them with jacked up power prices.

      • Anne 10.1.3

        It's hardly idealism. Its a pragmatic reality given the fallout from a nuclear catastrophe. However technology has vastly improved since the 1980s and I see a time coming when nuclear power will become more acceptable.

        Nuclear weapons are a different kettle of fish. NZ is a world leader leader in condemning their existence, and Jacinda Ardern did well to remind Europe (and elsewhere) of the threat they pose to the entire planet. Combined with CC the effects hardly bear thinking about.

        • KJT 10.1.3.1

          It will be a long time, if ever, where the costs and dangers of nuclear power are sufficiently solved for it to be a better proposition for NZ, than the abundant possibilities for renewables, we are lucky enough to have.

          Unless Fusion becomes viable. Which also doesn't seem likely in the near future. The research over my entire lifetime still hasn't resulted in much more than break even output.

  11. Populuxe1 11

    A timely message when the world's the closest it's been to a nuclear exchange this side of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

  12. everybody is trying it on. nuclear nations know there will be swift reprisals from the rest of the world if they go down that route. what we are left with is brushfire wars which are deadly enough and trade sancgtions which hurt nearly as bad as destruction of infrastructure and decimation of humans caught in the crossfire. I applaud JA for her stance and she is showing the rest of the world how it should be done

  13. Jenny how to get there 13

    No doubt about it. Our country's leader gave a great speech.

    Could have been a little edgier.

    Saying we must reform of the UN – Good.

    The PM is right, Russia’s use of its UN Security Council position to block consideration of the invasion is morally bankrupt.

    Invoking the international Rules Based system – Good. The PM could have gone a little further,
    Ask the US, (which numerous examples prove, feels that the rules base international system don't apply to them), should abide by them.

    The PM could have at least asked the US to recognise the jurisdiction of international Criminal Court.

    Or abide by the numerous UN resolutions on Israel, instead of flouting them.

    The US is number 1 in flouting UN resolutions, followed by Turkey at number 2, and Morocco at number 3.

    https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2002-oct-17-fg-resolution17-story.html

    The whataboutists who always cite flagrant breaches of International law and UN resolutions by the US, have a point.

    I don't agree with the whataboutists, that because the US does it, other powers like the Russian Federation and China have the right to do it as well. (One illegal invasion doesn't excuse another).

    As well as mentioning our proud nuclear free status as example of our country's independence, The PM could have cited our refusal to take part in the illegal invasion of Iraq as another example of New Zealand's independent foreign policy.

    The 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Poland and a coalition of other countries was a violation of the United Nations Charter, the bedrock of international relations in the post-World War II world.

    Legality of the Iraq War – Wikipedia

    https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Legality_of_the_Iraq_War

    The U.S. does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court
    April 16, 20224:54 PM ET

    Michel Martin speaks with John Bellinger…

    ….President Biden used the word genocide to describe atrocities committed by Russia in Ukraine. The president had also previously called Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal and said evidence should be gathered to put Putin on trial. Now, you might be asking, how or where does such a trial take place? There is a legal body specifically set up to prosecute cases of genocide, war crimes and other serious international crimes. It's the International Criminal Court, or ICC.

    But here's the rub. The U.S. does not recognize the jurisdiction of this legal body

    https://www.npr.org/2022/04/16/1093212495/the-u-s-does-not-recognize-the-jurisdiction-of-the-international-criminal-court#:~:text=There%20is%20a%20legal%20body,jurisdiction%20of%20this%20legal%20body.

    • JO 13.1

      Get real. If all your points were somehow squeezed into the three brief minutes allotted to the PM for her speech, she'd have had to talk as breathlessly fast as the current leader of the Opposition does every time he sees a microphone.

      • Jenny how to get there 13.1.1

        JO

        2 July 2022 at 11:02 am

        Get real. If all your points were somehow squeezed into the three brief minutes allotted to the PM for her speech, she'd have had to talk as breathlessly fast as the current leader of the Opposition does every time he sees a microphone.

        Hi JO, Forgive me, but I can't help thinking that your objection based on the limited 3 minute allotted time slot is frivolous, and not a real objection. It would only take one, possibly two sentences, at most.

        Most of my comment was to links to back up the facts contained therein. The PM would not need to give references to the facts, it would be up to her detractors to dispute them.
        If time really was an issue; if necessary, the PM could remove one or two sentences from her speech that don't add much.

        Easily doable.

        Now I am not the PM's speech writer and would never have the temerity to even attempt to put words in the PM's mouth. But let’s say just as a thought experiment, we test your theory that the PM wouldn't have had time to call all the world powers to the same standard.
        I have put my own suggested added sentence inside parenthathese in italics. (plus possible suggested strike outs with lines through them). The PM would probably do a much better job, that is, if she had decided to take the other world powers to task for their inconsistency and hypocrisy.

        Kia ora koutou katoa.

        It is a rare thing to have New Zealand represented at a NATO Summit. While we have worked together in theatres such as Afghanistan, and have been partners for just on a decade, today represents an important moment for our Pacific nation.

        New Zealand is not here to expand our military alliances. We are here to contribute to a world that lessens the need for anyone to call on them.

        Aotearoa New Zealand has a fiercely held independent foreign policy.

        We are also one of the oldest and most stable liberal democracies. But that does not mean we We judge our foreign policy interventions based on [not] political ideology, but rather, the simple concept that when our shared humanity is undermined, we all suffer.

        And on that basis, we are unequivocal. The war in Ukraine is wrong.

        Russia’s actions are an affront to all of us. Not because this conflict should be characterised as a war of the west vs Russia, or even democracy vs autocracy, it is neither. Rather it’s a war of Russia vs all those who hold a basic sense of humanity and chose to act on it.

        The war in Ukraine is also an affront to our multilateral institutions.

        Russia’s use of its UN Security Council position to block consideration of the invasion is morally bankrupt. And demonstrates why we must continue to seek reform of the UN.

        In lieu of our ability to respond as a collective, New Zealand has responded as a nation.

        We have implemented unilateral sanctions for the first time ever. We have provided humanitarian assistance and a special visa for family members of our Ukrainian community.

        We are providing military and non-military aid. We have deployed our people, and our assets to facilitate the flow of supplies to Ukraine, and with the United Kingdom, we are training Ukrainian troops and supporting intelligence efforts.

        We are also making significant contributions to the international legal effort to hold Russia accountable and are planning to intervene in Ukraine’s case against Russia in the International Court of Justice.

        In all of this, we stand alongside those who share our same values. And here I want to acknowledge the leadership shown by NATO.

        But I also come with a request: that we do not allow the legacy of the war in Ukraine to become an arms race, or an even more polarised and dangerous world.

        Our solidarity with Ukraine must be matched by an equal commitment [by all of us] to strengthen international institutions, multilateral forums, and disarmament.
        [In particular, I ask that the US agree respect the jurisdiction of the international Criminal Court and UN resolutions.]

        New Zealand is a Pacific nation. Our region, bears the scars of decades of US and French nuclear testing. It was because of these lessons that New Zealand has long declared itself proudly nuclear free. Some may observe this status and assume us to have the naive privilege of such a position. I would argue, the world can’t afford anything less…..
        etc. etc….

        See, easily doable.

        JO if you want to disagree me on valid political grounds now is your chance.

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