The country’s international relationships have loomed large in Beehive announcements since Friday.
One press statement – from the PM – congratulated Anthony Albanese and the Australian Labor Party on winning the Australian Federal election. Jacinda Ardern said:
“Australia is our most important partner, our only official ally and single economic market relationship, and I believe our countries will work even more closely together in these tumultuous times.”
Ardern hopes to meet Albanese “in the near future” and looks forward to working with him on a range of issues including supporting New Zealanders living in Australia, making trans-Tasman business even easier, deepening our partnership with our close friends in the Pacific, and advancing our interests on the world stage.
A statement this morning announced the PM will lead a trade mission to the United States this week to support export growth and the return of tourists post COVID-19.
She departs the country tonight accompanied by Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor and business leaders from technology and tourism firms as well as innovative food companies Silver Fern Farms, Fonterra and Zespri.
A third statement drew attention to an internationa larrangement – “The Quintet of Attorneys Generals” – which will have sounded a sour note in Moscow. It has issued a statement of support for the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and investigations and prosecutions for crimes committed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine:
It identified the membership of the quintet in the opening sentence of the joint statement:
“The Attorneys General of the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand join in support of Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova, her Office, and the Ukrainian people in ensuring accountability for war crimes committed during the Russian invasion.”
The quintet condemned the Russian Government for its actions and called on it to cease all violations of international law, halt its illegal invasion and cooperate in efforts to achieve accountability.
The statement wrapped up by declaring:
“We look forward to working together with the Prosecutor General and her Office to ensure every perpetrator faces justice.”
NZ’s membership of this quintet stems from the country’s participation in the Five Country Ministerial (commonly known among foreign policy wonks as the FCM), an annual meeting of home affairs, public safety, interior, security, border and immigration Ministers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Ministers meet to discuss national security challenges of mutual interest and concern and to discuss opportunities for collaboration.
FCM meetings cover topics ranging from border and migration security, counter-terrorism and aviation security, to countering child exploitation and online harm.
The FCM first met in Monterey, California in July 2013. In 2016, Immigration Ministers were invited to join in recognition of the intersection between national security, immigration and border management concerns.
Information posted by the the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet emphasises that FCM is not part of the core Five Eyes intelligence-sharing arrangement,
“… but rather it focusses on policy cooperation and coordination.
“There are separate issue-specific groups that sit under the FCM umbrella on immigration, customs and border security, cyber security policy, critical infrastructure, aviation security and research and development.”
The Quintet brings together the Attorneys-General of the same five countries to discuss and share information about complex legal issues, in which they have mutual interest.
“Often these issues concern matters of international law, cross-border legal issues, including international cooperation in law enforcement, or matters of constitutional significance. Given the potential for overlapping interests, the FCM has generally occurred alongside an annual joint meeting with the Quintet, which allows for discussion of matters of mutual interest. The Quintet also convenes separately each year. Crown Law supports the Attorney-General’s engagement with the Quintet.”
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The Quintet of Attorneys General have issued the following statement of support for the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and investigations and prosecutions for crimes committed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.