Many of the every day activities we take for granted rely on global cooperation.
The state of the environment and the health of our planet are major concerns for Kiwis, especially youth. Global issues like climate change or sustainably managing our oceans cross national boundaries, making international cooperation and action the best - and probably only viable - approach.
Families can stay in touch wherever they are in the world thanks to international cooperation on postal services, rules, and networks. This universal network of services is enabled by one of the world’s oldest international organisations – the Universal Postal Union established in 1874.
Kiwis love to travel and the Big OE (overseas experience) is a rite of passage for many. Multilateral agreements underpin airline connections, safe skies, and the ability of embassies to provide assistance to their citizens. ICAO is a specialised agency of the UN for international civil aviation under which countries co-operate to provide safe, secure and efficient global air transport. If people get into trouble overseas, treaties like the Vienna Convention enable governments to help their citizens requiring consular assistance in other countries.
New Zealanders are generous donors of time, expertise and money to international aid efforts, such as those led by the world’s largest humanitarian network Red Cross and Red Crescent. We in turn receive help when we need it – such as our soldiers during the two world wars or, more recently, following natural disasters such as the Canterbury earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.
Since 1919 the ILO has brought together governments, employers and workers of 187 countries to set labour standards, develop policies, and devise programmes promoting decent work for all.
Microfinance for migrants’ families back home
Nearly 3 billion people in developing countries have little or no access to formal financial services that can help them increase their incomes and improve their lives. Multilateral organisations like the World Bank Group provides access to a range of microfinance services — loans, micro-insurance, and money transfers. This enables people to invest in enterprise that improve their livelihood and well-being.
New Zealanders are famous for our inventiveness, innovation, and creativity. A range of international agreements and organisations such as the World Intellectual Property Organization help creators of literary and artistic works or trade-related intellectual property protect their rights and realise the benefits of IP.
Our farmers and many other businesses rely on export markets to sell their products and services and make a living. Belonging to multilateral institutions like the WTO means New Zealanders benefit from its trade rules, market access, and negotiating heft, and helps settle disputes between trade partners.