Support grows for Asia-Pacific push. NEW WORLD ORDER!

SUPPORT for Kevin Rudd's Asia-Pacific community initiative has firmed in the wake of violent political unrest in Thailand earlier this month.

From Hanoi to Washington there was growing appreciation that the existing regional diplomatic architecture was unable to solve vexing problems, ranging from competing oil and gas claims in the South China Sea to North Korea's nuclear program, former senior diplomat Richard Woolcott said yesterday.

Mapp:(New Zealand) Defence Review speech notes

This is the first major review of Defence since the 1997 Defence
Review and the Defence Beyond 2000 Inquiry by the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee. It is time for a fresh look.

Even though we are a small country our region covers 15% of the world’s surface. During the past decade there has been much more uncertainty in our own region. The NZDF is stretched to meet existing commitments.

We need to be able to act to assist states in our region, and we need to work with Australia to protect our region. Our Defence forces therefore must be primarily focused on these needs. Outside of our region we will always take a niche approach in concert with friends and allies.

Rudd to announce civilian corps

Sydney Morning Herald
A civilian corps manned by everyday Australians to help out in war zones and natural disasters is set to be announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in Perth on Wednesday.

Mr Rudd is expected to announce the civilian corps among nine initiatives at a community cabinet meeting in the West Australian city.

As reported in The West Australian newspaper, the regional response strategy would call on professionals and public servants. They would include defence reservists from local, state and federal governments, as well as non-government workers.

McCully to Singapore for NZ Business Forum

Tuesday, 21 April 2009, 9:51 am
Press Release: New Zealand Government

Hon Murray McCully
Minister of Foreign Affairs
21 April 2009 Media statement

McCully to Singapore for NZ Business Forum

Foreign Minister Murray McCully leaves for Singapore today to give the keynote speech at a New Zealand Business Forum, and to meet with senior Singaporean Ministers.

“Singapore is an important bilateral and regional partner for New Zealand,” Mr McCully said.

“There are excellent opportunities for partnerships between New Zealand business innovation and Singaporean capital, and while Singapore has felt the effects of the financial crisis like everyone else, it has sound economic fundamentals, and is well positioned to quickly recover.

Korea-New Zealand Anti-Sub Drills Begin

South Korean and New Zealand Navies Friday kicked off a week-long joint anti-submarine training exercise in the waters off Pohang, some 370 kilometers south of Seoul, the Navy said.

The biennial drill, initiated in 1997, is designed to help hone joint anti-submarine operational skills and improve bilateral ties, it said in a news release.

The joint exercise has been held in waters off South Korea because New Zealand doesn’t have a submarine, it said.

This time, a South Korean P-3C maritime patrol plane and a 1,300-ton Type-209 submarine are participating in the exercise, while the New Zealand Navy sent a P-3K and 33 crewmembers and engineers, according to the release.

Trans-Tasman legal systems discussed in Canberra

Wednesday, 15 April 2009, 2:57 pm
Press Release: New Zealand Government

Hon Simon Power
Minister of Justice

15 April 2009 Media Statement

Trans-Tasman legal systems discussed in Canberra

Justice Minister Simon Power will attend the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General in Canberra this week.

SCAG provides a forum for Attorneys-General to discuss and progress matters of mutual interest, and seeks to achieve uniform or harmonised action in the areas of responsibility of its members.

The Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) comprises the Attorneys-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, its states and territories, and New Zealand’s Minister of Justice. Norfolk Island has observer status at SCAG meetings.

On The Trail Of Bilderberg 2009

AFP James P. Tucker, Jr.
Bilderberg will return to its 1993 crime scene when it attempts to meet secretly in Vouliagmeni, Greece, May 14-17. Bilderberg will return to the grounds of Nafsika Astir Palace hotels in Vouliagmeni, 20 miles outside Athens, and meet behind guards at the Westin Nafsika.

Asean leaders call for EU-style union

Leaders sign agreement for an Asean community within next six years, with EU-style agreement planned by 2015
The Asian Development Bank (ADB)backed Asean calls for cooperation on Sunday, saying that working to together “is crucial” to tackling the global financial crisis. Speaking at the 4th Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) at the Asean Summit in Cha-am, Thailand, ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said Asean countries should bring down trade barriers along with other Asean-wide initiatives as part of the strategy to battle the crisis, according to a statement Sunday. “Regional cooperation becomes even more important as we seek to pursue joint approaches and pool our resources to cope with difficulties that we all face,” he said.

Asian Pacific Union on the way (EU style government)

Free trade pact with Asean as exports slump.

Asean leaders are expected to sign a declaration on a road map for forming a European Union-style community by 2015 and discuss a US$120 billion (NZ$237 billion) emergency fund agreed by finance ministers on Sunday.

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