Release negotiation documents for international treaties

The government will release all information provided to other parties in international negotiations, and all information provided to New Zealand, subject only to redactions for privacy, national security and commercial sensitivity.

Why the contribution is important

The negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement revealed a deep disquiet with the way international treaty negotiations were handled. While negotiating in secret is a foreign policy tradition, it destroyes any pretence of informed public consent and democratic legitimacy. At the same time, it allows governments to lie to their people, by telling us one thing and the parties they are negotiating with another.

Proactively releasing all negotation documents would significantly reduce this problem, improving both transparency and accountability, while enabling public participation and meaningful consent. It will not erode the negotiation process, as if material is known to all parties there can be no concerns about unfair advantages in negotiations. And a democratic government should have no concerns about telling its own people in public what it is telling others in private, or what it is doing on their behalf.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is best-suited to be responsible for this commitment.

by IdiotSavant on August 12, 2016 at 04:41PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 5.0
Based on: 4 votes