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New Zealand seeks Jammeh’s backing for UN Security Council seat

Mar 14, 2013, 9:45 AM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

President Yahya Jammeh Wednesday afternoon received in audience at State House in Banjul, a special envoy of the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Rt. Hon Sir Donald Mckinnon told waiting journalists after a closed-door meeting with President Jammeh that his mission to Banjul was to seek President Jammeh’s support to New Zealand’s vying for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council in 2015-2016, election to which is due next year.

New Zealand last served in the United Nations Security Council nearly 20 years ago, and is seeking early support from its friends across the continent for a second term membership.

According to the New Zealand envoy, the purpose of vying for the permanent seat at UN is because ‘‘we believe that all countries should have a term on the UN Security Council. It is very hard, you do have to work; you have to work very hard to get votes because New Zealand is competing against two countries, namely Spain and Turkey.’’

These two countries, he added, are powerful countries “so we have to work very hard, we have to get to a lot of countries and this is why I am here in The Gambia and I will be in other West African countries as well; and may be in a couple of months I will be coming back to another part of Africa too. This is like in elections; if you want people to vote for you, you should go and see them, tell them what you are offering and then they will vote for you.”

Describing his discussion with the President as ‘very good’, the New Zealand envoy further told journalists he also discussed with President Jammeh about all the work the UN has done and the work New Zealand is doing in The Gambia.

The Gambia, he added, is advancing very rapidly, which can be realized from the construction going on in the country.

The New Zealand envoy was accompanied to State House by New Zealand’s Ambassador in Cairo, David Strachan.