Foreign relations of the Cook Islands
The Cook Islands maintains diplomatic relations with various countries and is a member of multilateral organisations. While the country is in free association with New Zealand, which can act on the Cook Islands' "delegated authority [...] to assist the Cooks Islands" in foreign affairs, the Cook Islands nevertheless enters into treaty obligations and otherwise "interacts with the international community as a sovereign and independent state."
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..." 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." The United Nations Secretariat therefore "recognized the full treaty-making capacity of the Cook Islands" in 1992 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".
As of August 2015, the Cook Islands has diplomatic relations with 44 states. It has also non-resident mission accredited to the European Union (EU) in Avarua. 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 Rotorua 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 Avarua).
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.
The following countries have established formal diplomatic relations with the Cook Islands.
- Australia 1994
- Fiji 1998
- Kiribati 3 September 2013
- Marshall Islands 3 September 2013
- Micronesia 24 September 2014
- Nauru 1994
- New Zealand 1993
- Niue 2013
- Palau 3 September 2013
- Papua New Guinea 1995
- Samoa 2013
- Solomon Islands 2013
- Tonga 18 November 2014
- Tuvalu 2013
- Vanuatu 2013
- Belgium 6 April 2005
- Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 April 1996
- Czech Republic 12 May 2008
- European Union 2001
- France 2000
- Germany 11 September 2001
- Holy See 29 April 1999
- Italy 21 February 2002
- Kosovo 18 May 2015
- Netherlands 16 August 2011
- Norway 1998
- Portugal 12 August 1995
- Spain 29 January 1998
- Switzerland 7 March 2011
- Turkey 20 October 2008
- China 25 July 1997
- India 1998
- Iran 1 March 1996
- Israel 2008
- Japan 16 June 2011[note 1]
- Malaysia 2 May 1992
- Philippines 12 December 2011
- Singapore 6 August 2012
- South Korea 22 February 2013
- Thailand April 2005
- Timor-Leste 17 August 2002
- South Africa 9 February 1996
The following countries have established consular relations with the Cook Islands only.
- Monaco 2007 or before[note 2]
- Panama 2016 or before
- United States 22 February 1995 or before[note 3]
International organisation participation
- ACP, AOSIS, AsDB, ESCAP (associate), FAO, ICAO, IMO, ICC, ICFTU, IFAD, ILO IOC, OPCW, Pacific Islands Forum, Red Cross/Red Crescent, South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission, Sparteca, SPC, UNESCO, WHO, WMO
- 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.
- The Cook Islands participate in the International Maritime Organisation, the United Nations regulatory body for the shipping trade. Their position against reducing carbon emissions from international shipping ha drawn criticism from other Pacific island nations who are similarly vulnerable to rising sea levels.
Participation in international treaties and conventions
- Party to the following treaties and conventions: Biodiversity Convention, Cotonou Agreement, Geneva Conventions, POPs Project, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, UNCLOS, UNFCCC and its Kyoto protocol, Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty,[note 4] International Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation, Biological Weapons Convention, Convention of the International Mobile Satellite Organization
- List of diplomatic missions of the Cook Islands
- List of diplomatic missions in the Cook Islands
- Foreign relations of Niue
- Foreign relations of New Zealand
- Politics of the Cook Islands
- Japan recognized independence of the Cook Islands on 25 March 2011.
- Cook Islands Honorary Consul is appointed to and acknowledged in Monaco since 2007 or before.
- Cook Islands Honorary Consul in Los Angeles is recognized by the United States since 1995.
- including the Facility Agreement with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.
- Joint Centenary Declaration of the Principles of the Relationship between New Zealand and the Cook Islands, clause 4; signed by the Prime Minister of New Zealand and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands at Rarotonga on 11 June 2001. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
- Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs, Supplement No. 8, Volume VI at para 11
- Summary of Practice of the Secretary-General as Depositary of Multilateral Treaties (United Nations, New York, 1999) at para 86
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (2015). "Foreign Affairs". Cook Islands Government. Retrieved 2015-10-08.
- Makereta Komai (2013). "Cook Island establishes diplomatic relations with Kiribati, Palau and Marshall Islands". Pacific Islands News Association. Retrieved 2015-10-08.
- "Palau Formally Establishes Diplomatic Relations With The Cook Islands". Oceania TV News. 2013-09-04. Retrieved 2015-10-09.
- "FSM and Cook Islands establish diplomatic relations". fsmupdates. 2014-09-27. Retrieved 2015-10-09.
- Government of the Federated States of Micronesia (2013-11-04). "Countries With Which the Federated States of Micronesia Has Established Diplomatic Relations". Retrieved 2015-10-09.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (2015). "Pacific Relations". Cook Islands Government. Retrieved 2015-10-08.
- "Diplomatic relations with all Pacific Island Forum members complete". Cook Islands News. 2014-11-20. Retrieved 2015-10-09.
- "Souhrnná teritoriální informace Cookovy ostrovy" [Summary of territorial information Cook Islands] (PDF) (in Czech). Czech Embassy Canberra & Czech Consulate Sydney. 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2012-10-13.
- "Kosova lidh marrëdhënie diplomatike me Ishujt Cook" [Kosovo established diplomatic relations with the Cook Islands]. KOHA (in Albanian). 2015-05-18. Retrieved 2015-10-09.
- MW/CIHC (2015-05-19). "Ceremony celebrates Kosovo ties". Cook Islands News. Retrieved 2015-10-09.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (2011-08-16). "Cook Islands and Netherlands establish diplomatic relations". Cook Islands Government. Retrieved 2015-10-09.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (2011-03-07). "Cook Islands and Switzerland establish diplomatic relations". Cook Islands Government. Retrieved 2015-10-09.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Turkish Republic (2011). "Türkiye–Cook Adaları Siyasi İlişkileri" [Turkey-Cook Islands Political Relations] (in Turkish). Retrieved 2015-10-09.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (2012-06-15). "Visit by Israeli Ambassador". Cook Islands Government. Retrieved 2015-10-09.
- "Establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Cook Islands and a courtesy call by Mr Takeaki Matsumoto, Foreign Minister of Japan to Hon Henry Puna, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands" (PDF). Embassy of Japan in New Zealand. 2011-06-20. Retrieved 2015-10-09.
- "Lecture by Prime Minister Puna of the Cook Islands -State recognition of the Cook Islands to lead to furthering cooperation-". Meiji University. 2011-06-22. Retrieved 2014-10-20.
The Cook Islands are the 193rd state to be recognized as an independent state by Japan.
- "State Recognition of the Cook Islands and Founding of Diplomatic Relations" (PDF). Embassy of Japan in New Zealand. 2011-09-02. Retrieved 2015-07-28.
With the recognition of the Cook Islands, Japan now recognises 193 countries.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (2011-12-16). "The Cook Islands and the Philippines Establish Formal Diplomatic Ties". Cook Islands Government. Retrieved 2015-10-09.
- "Singapore established bilateral relations with Niue and Cook Islands on 6 August 2012". Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore.
Singapore has established diplomatic relations with Cook Islands, ... Niue, ...
- 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
- "Korea, Cook Islands to begin diplomatic ties". The Korea Herald. 2013-02-18. Retrieved 2015-10-08.
- Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Brazil and the Cook Islands, retrieved 2015-09-01
- "Countries with which Jamaica has Established Diplomatic Relations". Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica. 2014. Retrieved 2016-01-27.
- 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)
- Honorary Consul in Monaco
- "Consulate of the Cook Islands in Panama City, Panama". EmbassyPages.com. 2016. Retrieved 2016-01-25.
- "Foreign Consular Offices in the United States". U.S. State Department. 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2015-01-23.
- Zabeena (2015-06-22). "Cook Islands joins ILO". Fiji Television Limited. Retrieved 2015-10-08.
- "NZ may be invited to join proposed ‘Polynesian Triangle’ ginger group", Pacific Scoop, 19 September 2011
- "New Polynesian Leaders Group formed in Samoa", Radio New Zealand International, 18 November 2011
- "American Samoa joins Polynesian Leaders Group, MOU signed", Savali, 19 November 2011
- Offshore carbon: why a climate deal for shipping is sinking (Climate Home)
- CBTO Preparatory Commission. "Cook Islands tenth State signatory to have signed Facility Agreement". Retrieved 2015-10-09.
- International Mobile Satellite Organization (2015). "Member States". Retrieved 2015-10-09.