“With the constantly growing economic and strategic importance of the Asia Pacific, it is even more pressing that we strengthen historic ties and deepen our cooperation to meet the challenges of the future,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said recently after meeting with the Foreign Minister of New Zealand Murray McCully in Washington DC. “The Wellington Declaration, which we signed during my visit to New Zealand [in November, 2010], ensures that our governments are in regular contact on a wide range of shared concerns.”
The goal of the Wellington Declaration is a strategic partnership for the 21st Century that is flexible, dynamic, and reflects the fundamental beliefs and aspirations of the United States and New Zealand.
The United States and New Zealand coordinate closely on a variety of regional and global issues. In their most recent meeting, Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister McCully discussed the role New Zealand played in making the recent NATO summit in Chicago a success, the orderly plan for an effective transition to Afghan leadership in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, and our joint efforts with the international community to move forward on political and economic reforms in Burma.
New Zealand has supported Kofi Annan’s UN mission in Syria, and the UN refugee program for Syrians fleeing into Turkey. “Together, we must increase our pressure on the Assad regime,” Secretary Clinton said. “And we must continue to work toward the day when there will be a political transition that will give the Syrian people the chance to chart their own future.”
New Zealand’s leadership as chair of the Pacific Islands Forum this year has brought a productive focus on development coordination and curbing climate change. The United States will continue to work with the Pacific Island nations on a broad range of common endeavors.
“Our governments and peoples share a deep and abiding interest in maintaining peace, prosperity, and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, expanding the benefits of freer and more open trade, and promoting and protecting freedom, democracy and human rights worldwide,” Secretary Clinton said.
“As we look to the challenges of the 21st century, our shared democratic values and common interests will continue to guide our collective efforts.”