New envoy mulls new vistas for ties

New envoy upbeat- Jan Henderson.jpgJan Henderson, currently Director of Environment Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Wellington will be New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to India. She will also be the non-resident High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and Non-Resident Ambassador to Nepal.

This would be her second posting as the Head of Mission. She is currently Director, Environment Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade in Wellington and will succeed the current incumbent Rupert Holborrow in December.

In announcing her appointment on July 27, Foreign Minister Murray McCully described bilateral relations with India as significant and poised for growth.

“As well as a rising economic power, India’s role is growing in internationally. Friendly relations with India is key to New Zealand’s future,” he said.

He said the ongoing negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will take the two countries to a higher level of goodwill and understanding, strengthening the existing bond between the two governments and peoples.

However, as we have often mentioned in these columns, FTA with India will involve intense and protracted negotiations treading into sensitive areas of tariffs of agricultural and dairy exports and other matters that the Indian Government would term non-negotiable.

Global Research

Ms Henderson would have other priorities as well.

“While the focus would be to strengthen the relationship between the two countries, there are multilateral ties that would need attention. I am hopeful of pursuing the commitment of New Zealand and India on Climate Change and the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases,” she said.

New Zealand is keen to work together with developing countries like India, China and Brazil and assist them in technology transfer, agricultural expertise and deforestation.

Tim Groser, Minister responsible for International Climate Change Negotiations said his Government was working actively to secure an effective global agreement on climate change to succeed the ‘Kyoto Protocol’ after 2012.

“An important issue in these international negotiations is the commitment that New Zealand would make on greenhouse emissions target for 2020,” he said.

The Government is expected to announce its policy target for 2020 at the next stage of negotiations beginning in Bonn, Germany on August 2.

The Global Research Alliance aims to bridge gaps in research on agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, which account for about 14% of the world’s total emissions. Last year, the New Zealand Government committed $45 million over four years to the Alliance to foster the programme.

Other Priorities

Ms Henderson said she would also place Education, Tourism and direct air link between the two countries as priority issues.

A career diplomat with more than 30 years of experience in the New Zealand Foreign Service, her previous assignments include Ambassador to Turkey (with concurrent accreditation to Israel and Jordan), Director, Environment Division, Deputy High Commissioner, Solomon Islands, and Political Councillor at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington DC and Second Secretary at our Mission in Bangkok, Thailand.

She has also held a number of posts within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade.

These include Director, Special Projects (Knowledge Management), Director, Executive Office, Deputy Director (Political), Pacific Division, Deputy Director (Pacific), Development Cooperation Division, Recruitment and Careers Adviser (Personnel Division), ASEAN & Pacific Aid Programme Manager, Development & Cooperation Division, Policy Officer, Middle East and Africa Division.

Jan is married to David Henderson, a farmer by profession and they have two daughters Jennifer (on OE in Perth, Australia) and Rachel (studying at a boarding school in Hawkes Bay).

The India New Zealand Business Council will host a meeting with Jan Henderson in Auckland on August 19, 2010, the details of which can be obtained from Fergus McClean on 027-5718178 Email: fmclean@xtra.co.nz

Photo : Jan Henderson, New Envoy to Delhi

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