Locke to learn from ‘peacemaking superpower’

Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke is travelling to Norway to learn more about that country’s highly effective international peacemaking work.

“Although it has only the same population as New Zealand, Norway is a superpower in peacemaking,” said Mr Locke, who departs on a two-week, personal study trip tomorrow [Thursday].

“Of course, New Zealand has also been involved in some exemplary peace-making initiatives, most significantly in Bougainville, but there is certainly scope for us to do more.

“Despite its size, Norway has played a major peacemaking role in right around the world, from Sudan and Colombia to Palestine and Sri Lanka.

“When I visited Sri Lanka last year to look at the peace process, I found Norwegians involved at every level, from negotiations to monitoring the ceasefire.

“The purpose of my trip is to find out how the Norwegians do it and what New Zealand can learn from them.”

Mr Locke will also be visiting Sweden and will be discussing international human rights issues in both countries and how it ties in with their reconciliation and development programmes. Mr Locke, a member of the cross-party Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Disarmament, will also be discussing disarmament issues.