Foreign relations of the Cook Islands

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Foreign relations of the Cook Islands
  Cook Islands
  States that maintain diplomatic relations with the Cook Islands
  Diplomatic relations with the European Union (members not having established relations individually)
  States that maintain consular relations with the Cook Islands

The Cook Islands maintains diplomatic relations with various countries and is a member of multilateral organisations.

In the 1980s the Cook Islands became a member of several United Nations specialized agencies: the World Health Organization in 1984, the Food and Agriculture Organization and UNESCO in 1985, and the International Civil Aviation Organization in 1986. The Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs records that in 1988 New Zealand declared "that its future participation in international agreements would no longer extend to the Cook Islands..."[1] In 1991 the Cook Islands became a full member of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) Preparatory Committee and the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a Framework Convention on Climate Change (INC), which the Repertory of Practice describes as "further evidence that the international community had accepted the Cook Islands as a “State” under international law."[2] The United Nations Secretariat therefore "recognized the full treaty-making capacity of the Cook Islands" in 1992[3] and the Secretary-General, in his capacity as the depository of multilateral treaties, decided that the Cook Islands could participate in treaties that were open to "all states".[4]

The Cook Islands has diplomatic relations with 43 states. It has 2 diplomatic Missions, a High Commission in New Zealand and an Embassy accredited to the European Union (EU) in Brussels. Todd McClay served as Cook Islands Ambassador to the EU from 2002 to 2008. McClay retired from that position and moved back to New Zealand to successfully contest the Roturua seat in the 2008 New Zealand General Election. James Gosselin, the Cook Islands Secretary of Foreign Affairs, currently serves as the Cook Islands non-resident representative to the European Union (resident in Rarotonga).

In 2000 the Cook Islands government signed the Cotonou Partnership Agreement between the European Union and African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).

Upon signature of this agreement the Cook Islands Government established a representation to the EU in Brussels. In 2002 this representation was upgraded to a full diplomatic mission with accreditation to the European Union. The establishment of this mission marked an important development in Cook Islands international relations representing the first full diplomatic mission established by the Cook Islands outside of Pacific countries.

The Cook Islands Mission to the European Communities interacts with European Union institutions, the ACP Group of States and other bilateral country representations and embassies.

Diplomatic relations[edit]

The following countries have established formal diplomatic relations with the Cook Islands through the conclusion of joint communiqués and the like and/or seeking the accreditation of High Commissioners/Ambassadors:[5]






Proposed diplomatic relations[edit]

International organisation participation[edit]

  • In November 2011, the Cook Islands were one of the eight founding members of Polynesian Leaders Group, a regional grouping intended to cooperate on a variety of issues including culture and language, education, responses to climate change, and trade and investment.[41][42][43]


(* diplomatic envoys have been accredited or agréments issued and credentials remain to be presented)

  1. ^ In November 2005 the US Ambassador McCormick stated "I’ve been ...accredited to... the Cook Islands."[28] and he participated in various activities in the region.[29][30] The statement of the US Ambassador signifies that there are established diplomatic relations between the two states, but neither this nor the accreditation of the Ambassador are mentioned at the CIA's World Factbook website of 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012.[31] The Cook Islands have a Honorary Consul in and recognized by the US since 1995.[32][33]
  2. ^ Cook Islands Ambassador appointment pending as of 2008.[34][35][36]
  3. ^ Cook Islands Honorary Consul is appointed to and acknowledged in Monaco since 2007 or before.[37][38]
  4. ^ including the Facility Agreement with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.[39]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs, Supplement No. 8, Volume VI at para 11
  2. ^ Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs, Supplement No. 8, Volume VI at para 11
  3. ^ Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs, Supplement No. 8, Volume VI at para 11
  4. ^ Summary of Practice of the Secretary-General as Depositary of Multilateral Treaties (United Nations, New York, 1999) at para 86
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Summary of territorial information Cook Islands" (in Czech). Czech Embassy Canberra & Czech Consulate Sydney. 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  18. ^ Cook Islands and Netherlands establish diplomatic relations
  19. ^
  20. ^ Diplomatic relations list 2009
  21. ^
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ [2]
  24. ^ Singapore established bilateral relations with Niue and Cook Islands on 6 August 2012: "Singapore has established diplomatic relations with Cook Islands, ... Niue, ..."
  25. ^ Korea, Cook Islands to establish diplomatic ties by year's end: "Korea will establish diplomatic relations with the Cook Islands in the South Pacific Ocean by the end of this year, making it the 190th country with which Seoul will have diplomatic ties", 2012-10-23
  26. ^ [3]
  27. ^ [4]
  28. ^ US ambassador accredited to the Cook Islands
  30. ^ American ambassador to New Zealand, Samoa, and the Cook Islands
  31. ^ These CIA World Factbook sites have the following entry for Ambassador to the Cook Islands: "Diplomatic representation from the US: none (self-governing in free association with New Zealand)"
  32. ^ Foreign Consulates in California: The Honorable Metua Ngarupe, Honorary Consul of the Cook Islands
  33. ^ Foreign Consular Offices in the United States - Cook Islands - NAME AND RANK: MR. METUA NGARUPE, HONORARY CONSUL - DATE OF RECOGNITION: Feb. 22, 1995
  34. ^ Ireland Diplomatic missions and accreditations list
  35. ^ Ireland Diplomatic list November 2012
  36. ^ Irish Embassies and Consulates Abroad
  37. ^ Ordonnance Souveraine n° 1.259 du 10 août 2007 auto risant à exercer les fonctions de Consul honoraire des Iles Cook dans Notre Principauté. (Journal de Monaco Bulletin Officiel de la Principautè)
  38. ^ Honorary Consul in Monaco
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^ "NZ may be invited to join proposed ‘Polynesian Triangle’ ginger group", Pacific Scoop, 19 September 2011
  42. ^ "New Polynesian Leaders Group formed in Samoa", Radio New Zealand International, 18 November 2011
  43. ^ "American Samoa joins Polynesian Leaders Group, MOU signed", Savali, 19 November 2011