The relationship between New Zealand and the United States was lifted to a new level today when the Wellington Declaration was signed by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Murray McCully.
The full text of the declaration is:
"New Zealand and the United States are both Pacific nations. Our governments and peoples share a deep and abiding interest in maintaining peace, prosperity and stability in the region, expanding the benefits of freer and more open trade, and promoting and protecting freedom, democracy and human rights worldwide. We recall the long history of shared United States and New Zealand sacrifice in battle and we honour those, past and present, who have borne that sacrifice.
"As we look to the challenges of the 21st century, our shared democratic values and common interests will continue to guide our collective efforts.
"The United States-New Zealand strategic partnership is to have two fundamental elements: a new focus on practical cooperation in the Pacific region; and enhanced political and subject-matter dialogue - including regular Foreign Ministers' meetings and political-military discussions.
"We resolve to further our two nations' joint cooperation in addressing broader regional and global challenges, such as climate change, nuclear proliferation and extremism.
"We resolve also to develop new joint initiatives that confront the challenges faced by the Pacific. Particular areas of focus are to include renewable energy and disaster response management. We recognise that climate change adaptation in the Pacific is also a priority for both countries and is an issue to which the United States and New Zealand are committed. We intend also to work closely to enhance dialogue on regional security issues.
"We endeavour to develop deeper and broader people-to-people ties between the United States and New Zealand, encouraging innovation and expanding our commercial and trade relations, building on the creativity and rich diversity of our societies.
"To ensure the broadest participation of our citizens in strengthening the relationship between our two nations, we should focus efforts across our societies, including women, youth, minorities and future leaders.
"We are dedicated to working together to address trade, security and development issues through Apec, the East Asia Summit, the United Nations, and other regional and multilateral institutions.
"Our goal is a partnership for the 21st century that is flexible, dynamic, and reflects our fundamental beliefs and aspirations."
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