A delegation from New Zealand led by former Prime Minister Jim Bolger visited Dhaka to earn support for its bid to take one of the rotating seats in the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 sessions.
A reception was held at a city hotel on Sunday evening attended by politicians, government officials, members of the diplomatic community, private sector leaders and journalists, during which Bolger and other members of his delegation stressed New Zealand’s small-yet-independent stature in the international family of nations, alongside their record of soft power to press their case.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed spoke on the occasion as chief guest, expressing Bangladesh’s general receptiveness to the New Zealand bid. The commerce minister also spoke in favor of ratcheting up economic ties between the two nations.
Despite “no barriers”, in Bolger’s words, existing to restrict deeper ties between Bangladesh and New Zealand, bilateral trade has been wallowing beneath $200 million. The vote to select the 10 rotating members of the UNSC who will join the veto-wielding 5 permanent members - USA, UK, France, Russia and China - for the 2015-16 session will be held later this year in the General Assembly. New Zealand, who were the first country to announce their bid to join the UNSC for its next session back in 2004, last sat in the UNSC in 1993-4. A two-thirds majority is needed in the General Assembly for a country’s bid to succeed.
New Zealand’s last turn at the UNSC was during the first of Bolger’s two terms as prime minister of the South Pacific island nation. He was appointed as a special envoy of the current NZ prime minister last year, and in this role he has been focusing on solidifying support for the UNSC bid by visiting different nations.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam was in attendance at the event Sunday evening, as was the Prime Minister’s Economics Adviser Mashiur Rahman.
Possibly the most talked-about draw of the night was New Zealand foreign ministry official Tane Waetford's turn at the mic, during which he addressed the audience in his native Maori tongue, with accompanying body language. The Maoris are indigenous to the islands that make up New Zealand.
NZ seeks Dhaka’s support for UNSC post