New Zealand’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade John Allen hosted the United States Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Kurt Campbell, for the United States-New Zealand Strategic Dialogue on Saturday 15th December in Wellington. The Strategic Dialogue was the second held in 2012, following one hosted by Assistant Secretary Campbell in Sperryville, Virginia on 19 March.
The Dialogue was an opportunity to further the enhanced strategic political and defence relationship between New Zealand and the United States since the signing of the Wellington Declaration in November 2010 by Foreign Minister McCully and Secretary of State Clinton and the Washington Declaration in June 2012 by Defence Minister Coleman and Secretary of Defense Panetta.
The issues discussed by New Zealand and the United States during the Dialogue included:
•The United States’ strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region;
•The strategic and economic architecture of the Asia-Pacific, including Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the East Asia Summit, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership;
•The state of New Zealand-United States defence cooperation;
•Cooperation in the Pacific Islands region in areas such as development, democracy and rule of law, including defence cooperation in humanitarian assistance/disaster relief;
•Strengthening regional cooperation in the Pacific Islands region through our joint efforts as we look ahead to next year’s Pacific Islands Forum in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Joint decisions made during the Dialogue included:
•Regularizing contact between New Zealand and the United States at all levels, including regular dialogues on issues such as cooperation with Pacific Island states, development efforts in the region, and the dynamic changes taking place in East Asia.
•Working together to secure approval of the Ross Sea Region Marine Protected Area proposal submitted by our two countries to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR);
•Working to ensure the successful conclusion in the near future of negotiations on the Multilateral Treaty on Fisheries between the Pacific Islands and the United States.
•Continued close bilateral cooperation, including with our nine other partners, to reach expeditious conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiation, to increase trade and economic opportunity for both our countries.
The two sides looked forward to holding the next Strategic Dialogue in Washington in the first half of 2013.