95bFM: Selwyn Manning & Simon Maude On The Implications Of New Zealand Signing A NATO Security Pact
95bFM’s The Wire – Recorded live on 7/06/12: Selwyn Manning & Simon Maude discuss the implications of New Zealand signing a NATO security pact titled Individual Partnership Cooperation Programme (IPCP).
This week New Zealand Prime Minister John Key travelled from London to north Europe where he signed New Zealand up to the NATO IPCP security agreement.
New Zealand agreed to sign the pact after attending the NATO nations special meeting held in Chicargo in May – where topics included a coordinated exit strategy regarding the Afghanistan conflict, and attrocities being committed in Syria.
The IPCP pact assures NATO of New Zealand’s commitment to NATO-led security efforts. The pact includes a focus on cyber-defence, disaster relief, crisis management, and joint education and training.
New Zealand certainly appears to be abandoning the independent foreign policy that it maintained from 1984 through to 2008. Since 2008 New Zealand has committed to closer defence relations with Australia, it has signed the Wellington Declaration committing New Zealand to a closer security relationship with the United States, and now with the signing of the NATO security partnership alliance document, New Zealand demonstrated it has taken a giant leap away from the independent stance it demonstrated when refusing to commit to US-led forces invading Iraq in 2003.
In recent times we have seen NATO leading a western aligned operation against Libya’s Gaddafi regime; we have seen the United Nations Security Council blocked from making a move against those committing atrocities in Syria. The UNSC is divided over Syria where the United States and west-leaning states favor intervention while Russia and China currently favor a diplomatic solution. The UNSC situation seems untenable.
What has New Zealand signed up to?
The big picture provides a contextual backdrop where New Zealand signs the NATO security pact, we see the NATO secretary general traveling to Australia next week for similar talks, we saw this week Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting his counterpart from the People’s Republic of China in Beijing signing up to a closer security relationship between the two global powers.
The big picture also presents a series of unanswered questions, like:
What is NATO’s common enemy? Is it now outside those presenting as a terrorist organization? Is the common enemy once again states that the Western security alliance considers rogue such as Syria, Iran, Nigeria, Yemen, North Korea?
Are we seeing the emergence once again of a bipolar world divided between countries embracing western ideals form multilateral pacts outside the jurisdiction of the United Nations framework? While other non-aligned nations, led by Russia and China, group together offering a counter-balance to western domination?
In New Zealand there has been little discussion (both publicly and politically) regarding the implications of its Government having signed the NATO IPCP pact.
Has its National-led Government avoided tackling difficult debates over an erosion of New Zealand’s independent stance on global affairs due to it enjoying widespread popular public appeal?
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