Kiwi Diplomat assigned to watch over Sochi games

Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: Kiwi Diplomat assigned to watch over Sochi games

The New Zealand Government is going to deploy a diplomat to keep a watch on New Zealanders at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in Russia.

 A delegation of opposition MPs led by Labour’s Louisa Wall approached the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr McCully after the Russian Government passed legislation against the propaganda of ”non- traditional sexual relations.”

The delegation which included the Green’s Jan Logie and   New Zealand First’s Denis O’Rourke wrote to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in September asking for his help in protecting LGBTI people at the games from discrimination and harassment.

Louisa Wall says the government’s decision to ensure the safety and wellbeing of New Zealanders in Sochi is great news. “Mr McCullly has told me that the diplomat, a consular advisor will provide assistance to New Zealanders at the games.

“Mr McCully also wrote to us saying that the New Zealand embassy in Moscow has raised with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs our concerns regarding the recent law changes .The Embassy is continuing to monitor the human rights situation in Russia and is working closely with like-minded missions on this.

“The right of all our New Zealand team members to fully express themselves within the context of the Olympics, an international institution of such esteem, is fundamental to our full participation as equal citizens in the world.

“This includes being proud to be who you are and unless one is fully able to express all they are, then this constraint can compromise the Olympic motto Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is Latin for “Faster, Higher, Stronger”.

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