Policy in an Interdependent World: A New Zealand Perspective
Moore, NZ Ambassador to
the United States
21 April 2012
Address to Centre for
Australia and New Zealand Studies, Georgetown
University, Washington DC, 12 April 2012
honour to share some thoughts with you, report on the NZ,
Australian and US relationship and put it in a historic, then
global and regional context.
I do this
with some trepidation. I spent the first forty years of my
life trying to get into the media and have tried ever since I
was appointed trying to keep out of the media. If an
ambassador is in the media, he or she is probably doing
something wrong. It’s been said that a diplomat is always
precariously poised between a cliché and an indiscretion.
Staff up here remind me often, a little too often, that I’m
not our chief negotiator, even less am I the Minister.
I want to
express my affection for our Aussie mates and partners. In
particular I want to put on record my admiration for
No one could
wish for a better mate, personally and professionally.
We meet here,
knowing in a few days we will recognise and honour ANZAC day,
that tragic time when in fire, blood, mud and tears we were
joined together in a terrible bond at Gallipoli. From that
disaster our nations were forged. Crises and hardship don’t
just build character, they reveal character.
nations have sailed, marched and flown further to defend
freedom than the ANZACs.
been so many wars, emergencies and police actions where
Australia and NZ have been involved.
from New South Wales, 734 strong with some New Zealanders,
went to the Sudan in 1885.
Australians were part of the occupation forces in China after
the Boxer rebellion.
We both went
to fight during the Boer War. We sent 6495 troops, Maori and
Pakeha, the Aussies sent 16,175.
First World War, 42 percent of New Zealand males between the
ages of 19 and 45 fought, with a casualty rate of 58 percent.
40 percent of Australian males fought with a casualty rate of
figures were true of the Second World War. NZ had a larger
share of its GDP devoted to that war, larger percentage of men
in uniform, a higher percentage of casualties than any allied
nation except Russia.
the conflicts in Korea, Bougainville, to Vietnam, Iraq, the
Gulf War, Afghanistan, the Solomon Islands, Somalia, Rwanda,
Papua New Guinea/Bougainville, Timor Leste, the Sinai,
Kashmir, Cyprus, what was Rhodesia, Haiti, Lebanon, the former
Yugoslavia, you will find New Zealanders and Australians.
have been in places and situations many Americans have never
heard of. We called it an “emergency” not a war when, with
Britain and others in the 1950s, we successfully defended
Malaya from the Communist insurgents. It was not called a war
but “confrontation” when a newly created Malaysia faced a
threat from an anxious, belligerent Indonesia in the 1960s.
the time of the Suez crisis, a NZ cruiser was despatched but
that scrap was over before we got there.
the time of the Falklands war, NZ sent naval vessels to the
Indian Ocean… thereby relieving British ships.
have been in wars that didn’t happen. When Lloyd George
wanted to have another go at the Turks in the 1920s, NZ
quickly said, “We are in” only to discover that the
British cabinet changed its mind.
all of this was without controversy. The NZ and Australian
Labour leaders who supported the Second World War were opposed
to what they called an imperialistic First World War. Some MPs
who became Cabinet Ministers had been done for sedition, some
went to prison, jailed for their pacifist beliefs. Other wars
divided our country as much as the US was divided at the time.
Still true. That is the nature of healthy democracies.
of these sacrifices, because we know that we are not isolated
from great events, we in NZ have a history of internationalism
and of seeking a durable peace through engagement and
the League of Nations we raised the issues of the Italian
invasion of Abyssinia and the Japanese invasion of Manchuria.
We were appalled at the appeasers and said so, when that was
not popular to say, upsetting the great powers of the day. Our
representative at the League of Nations wanted a treaty to ban
the new-fangled threat of aerial bombardment.
gifted a battle cruiser to the British after World War I. At
the height of the Great Depression NZ gave a million pounds
for the defence of Singapore.
Zealand’s Prime Minister, Peter Fraser, and Australia’s
Foreign Minister Doc Evatt argued for the rights of small
nations and against the veto powers of the Security Council
when the UN was formed. We are good citizens of the UN, we pay
our dues and more and deploy our people in peace keeping and
know that no nation, mighty or modest, can hope to enjoy clean
air, manage airlines, run a tax system, enjoy security, grow,
alleviate poverty, combat climate change or manage a fisheries
regime and fight terrorism without the co-operation of others.
Thus we know that to be good nationalists, we have to be
internationalists, hence our commitment to those global
institutions such as the UN, WTO and global arrangements such
as the Antarctic Agreement and the law of the sea.
wish to speak of the US/NZ relationship. New Zealanders feel
very comfortable here in the US, we are all just a few
generations away from a farm and a boat. We are nations of
immigrants. We were all boat people at some time or another,
and no one came to NZ, Australia or America without a memory.
we feel a common heritage and trace our history back to the
Magna Carta, the Chartists, the Bill of Rights, the British
Glorious Revolution, and your own revolution. Your heroes are
our heroes. We too, are moved when we go to the Lincoln or
should occasionally celebrate our success, the great ideas of
freedom, representative democracy, freedom of religion,
freedom from religion, the rule of law, property rights, the
genius of the limited liability company, bankruptcy law,
labour rights, women’s rights, the virtues of social
mobility, much of which is famously expressed in the US
Constitution and in the evolution and practice of this great
experiment with justice and freedom; both personal and
ought not to lose our nerve now when we know that more wealth
has been created over the past 60 years than the rest of human
history put together. Millions have been lifted out of extreme
poverty, and the more open the society the better the outcome.
The darkest places on the planet, where people are treated the
worst, are the closed economies and societies.
when given the choice, choose freedom in the polling place and
the market space. Even after the greatest economic recession
since the Great Depression, we are coming back. Those who
predicted the end of democratic capitalism and the exhaustion
of social democracy will be disappointed. The trading system
did hold. Because we learn from history, we adjust.
mature, normal relationship is where family members can
disagree, where every request is not seen as a test of
friendship and where either side can say yes and no, without
can be optimistic when we reflect on the substantial progress
made. The relationship is the best in a generation. We are
building on years of hard work by others.
highpoint of the past 18 months has been the visit of our
Prime Minister who had a successful and productive meeting
with President Obama, and the visit to NZ of Secretary of
State Clinton. The Wellington Declaration now forms the
platform for our fresh strategic partnership.
I go, it’s often the first such meeting in a generation: the
first meeting between our Minister of Defence and the top
brass in Hawaii, the first meeting a few weeks ago with top US
officials in a strategic dialogue. We didn’t have a Defence
Secretary alive who had attended such a meeting.
Labour Leader, I had the great German leader Willy Brandt to
my party caucus room. He was asked by an aggressive MP, well
not quite asked. “Willy”, this MP demanded, “Why don’t
you get out of NATO and get rid of the nuclear deterrent? (or
words to that effect) “Ah NZ” he said, “I have found in
a long political life that idealism increases in direct
relationship to your distance from the problem.” We don’t
have one percent of the world’s population but we sure have
more than one percent of the world’s opinions.
changed everything. We are not naïve; we too are committed to
the life and death struggle against the forces of reaction and
its violent medieval terrorist face forces that reject all we
have learnt from and since the days of the enlightenment. It
makes no moral difference if a Kiwi is murdered in NZ or at
the Twin Towers, in Madrid, Bali, the London underground or on
a Norwegian island. We lost people in each of those obscene
attacks. These were attacks not just on innocent people, but
on the very idea of our civilisation.
get it. We know our resources and influence are modest. But as
always we stand with the forces of reason against the forces
of reaction. This is the rent we pay for our way of life, it
is the cost of civilisation and always has been. Whether
it’s a Kiwi in charge of the fleet to combat piracy off
Somalia, joint humanitarian work in the Pacific, or maritime
surveillance to check on the fisheries in our region, our
Navies are working and will work together as are our men and
women in Afghanistan where we have responsibility for Bamiyan
province. A policy that has been supported by several NZ
are not isolationists, nor are we neutral to the great events
that are shaping our world. The hottest place in hell is
reserved for the neutrals. How can we be neutral or
indifferent, given our values and interests to global poverty
and injustice, human rights, labour rights, women’s rights,
nuclear proliferation, the law of the sea, freedom of
navigation or the fresh hopes we have for Burma?
our interests, we can never be passive to the opportunities
offered for global and regional prosperity offered through
opening trade through the WTO and the Trans Pacific
cannot be neutral or passive bystanders to the needs of our
brothers and sisters in the Pacific who still endure much
poverty and live in fear of climate change and see their
resources under stress. For them the Pacific Islands Forum is
their leadership summit. It is their G20. In the past only two
or three Americans attended, but at the last Forum over 50
Americans participated, and we welcome the US territories, in
all their historic, complex, constitutional configurations
with the US, becoming observers to that body.
I must pay tribute to the energy and commitment of the
Assistant Secretary of State, Dr Kurt Campbell, and thank him
and his team. Kurt made an historic visit through some of the
Pacific Islands and was deeply moved and troubled by a number
of things. We are working together to resolve some of them,
not the least being the number of unexploded World War II
ordinances that litter the beautiful beaches, green forests
and lonely, lovely atolls in our region.
other nations, we are proud of our independent foreign policy,
like other nations we will make our decisions based on our
obligations, values and interests. Having said that, we
don’t live in a vacuum. Nations are not NGOs. You cannot
project and protect your values and interest without the
cooperation and understanding of others. This has always been
so. Perhaps it’s more so now given our greater
interdependence in a globalised world.
nations need rules-based systems more than great powers - the
law is the great equaliser. We all know, to our great cost,
the dangers posed by the soft option of isolationism, and the
dangers inherent in both an economic and political sense. The
two are intertwined, and economic isolationism makes us all
poorer and inevitably leads to something more dangerous and
dreadful. Globalisation is not new. Its not a policy dreamed
up in Wall Street or at Davos. Globalisation ought not to be
demonised or idealised. It will not be stopped any more than
you can stop men thinking. There have been dark times in
history when it has stalled. The great depression was made
more lethal, prolonged and deadly because of protectionism and
isolationism. From that great reaction came the twin tyrannies
of the last century, Fascism and Marxism. Inward looking,
tribal, nationalistic, racist and murderous.
a world without walls cannot be a world without rules,
standards and values. A market without rules, standards and
values is not a free market but a black market. We fear
deglobalisation, which is what a recession or depression
really means. This is another reason, beyond commercial self
-interest that NZ places such an ambitious premium on the Doha
Development round and a successful, evolving WTO. For those
who are too idealistic about globalisation and the death of
history, I commend a book written by Norman Angell in 1909,
entitled “Europe’s Optical Illusion.” He argued that
Europe was so economically integrated war was impossible. He
wrote “new economic factors clearly prove the inanity of
war..” and of “the commercial disaster, financial ruin and
individual suffering of a European war..”
“he wrote, “if Germany and Britain went to war, British
insurance companies would be required to compensate the Kaiser
for his sunken tonnage.” His small book was translated into
22 languages and sold over a million copies. He was knighted
and won the Nobel Prize for peace.
is not inevitable but neither is peace.
prudent, principled, predictable engagement at every level is
the only golden rule. Isolationism both political and economic
breeds the conditions for suspicion and opens the
possibilities for misunderstandings which can prove dangerous.
others in our region we welcome the US signing the Treaty of
Amity and co-operation, joining the EAS, and pursuing a
balanced diplomacy and engagement with China. How can we be
neutral and indifferent, given our interests and values, to
engaging and encouraging our partners and friends in China to
play a leadership role in global affairs and global governance
commensurate with her history, culture, growth and power.
China/American relationship is the central and most profound
relationship of our age, it will impact on everyone
have an excellent and growing relationship with China. We are
proud that New Zealand is the first developed country to have
a free trade deal with China, and our experience is positive.
were the first developed nation to agree to China’s
condition to join the WTO. The first to accord them market
highlight of my time as Director General of the WTO was
helping China navigate its way into the WTO as a full member.
get too much credit for this in China, but I don’t care.
our values, interests and limitations, we hope we are playing
and can continue to play, a modest role by finding ways where
we can work collectively together.
my reports to my capital I speak of my experience here in DC.
At every level of contact, at every level of government,
colleagues speak of engagement with China. No adult talks of
containment. It misreads the past, misreads the present and
misreads the future.
can no more contain China than you can contain the Atlantic or
the Pacific Ocean. King Canute exposed that theory some time
ago. It’s a throwback to the Cold War. We don’t fear a
strong, growing and prosperous China. And for those who fear
China’s growth, let them think about the harm to our
economies and our region of a slow growth, fractured and
see stability, progress, growth and jobs with a strong China,
a strong India Japan, Europe and Russia. And of course a
strong, confident, growing, engaged US.
have confidence in the future of the US and reject those who
speak of an American decline.
look at the facts.
share of global GDP is just about where it was in the
1970’s. Even if military expenditure slows, the US still
will be spending more on defence than the next 17 countries
put together. Forty percent of all university spending is here
in the US; 30 of the top 50 universities are in the US, 70
percent of Nobel Prize winners live in the US. We celebrated
with you the Korean, Colombian and Panama free trade
agreements. We were excited by the President’s commitment
made at APEC for the Trans-Pacific Partnership – the TPP -
when he called for an ambitious deal to be on the table this
year. The words “comprehensive” and “eliminating
tariffs” were used by Leaders. These are big ambitious
words. We too are ambitious for a high quality 21st century
deal. We too want to take the jack boot of regulations, red
tape and compliance costs off enterprise, to speed business
and create jobs and know that its small business more than big
business that needs predictable, transparent rules of
will not be easy, but we know issues of IP, transparent rules
for State Owned Enterprises and understandings on labour and
the environmental intersections are a necessity. But to
address 21st century subjects we also have to finally resolve
20th century issues. TPP has always been an expansionist
model. It started with just two countries.
the group of nations involved, collectively represent
America’s third biggest trading destination. We want other
friends to join up to its high ambitions.
too, are anxious not to lose momentum or to lower ambitions.
This will require courage, stamina and vision. Boldness is our
hope we don’t go into deadlock over the definition of
catfish, old problems of textiles, sugar or dairy, and lets
concentrate on the future, because the past isn’t all it’s
cracked up to be. We are all bigger than this. Among our many
mutual domestic problems it’s the employment of the young,
those locked outside, their faces pressed against the window
that worries our leaders the most. For us the future is to be
faced, not feared.
want to end with a note of thanks. 2012 for us is an historic
year, its 70 years since the US Marines came to NZ.
year we will welcome the US Marines back home to say thank
you, to pay down this large debt of honour. If any American
has to pay for a
beer that week, I will be ashamed of Kiwis.
report therefore to my Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign
Affairs and Trade is that our relationship is in fine shape,
and I know they would want me to thank the American and
Australian friends here for all you did to help us when the
earthquake hit Christchurch.
Skip to top |
Skip to make comment |
Send to a friend
To comment go to
letters to editor
Skip to top |