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 November 2018, the Cook Islands has diplomatic relations with 52 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 consular relations with the Cook Islands only.
The country... is currently in the process of opening a relationship with the Cook Islands.
The Cook Islands are the 193rd state to be recognized as an independent state by Japan.
With the recognition of the Cook Islands, Japan now recognises 193 countries.
Singapore has established diplomatic relations with Cook Islands, ... Niue, ...
The foreign relations of New Zealand are oriented chiefly toward developed democratic nations and emerging Pacific economies. The country’s major political parties have generally agreed on the broad outlines of foreign policy, and the current coalition government has been active in promoting free trade, nuclear disarmament, and arms control.
In summer 2013, New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully reported that:
All New Zealand's important relationships are in good repair....With the United States there are hopes of a major breakthrough in terms of trade relations. Sino - New Zealand relations are also subdued, but trade is burgeoning. Japan's decision to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a welcome change and New Zealand continues to pursue a free trade agreement with South Korea. The government is pressing ahead with plans to strengthen relations in a number of other areas, including Russia, South Asia, Latin America, the Persian Gulf and especially the South Pacific. It is also alive to the potential benefits of closer ties with countries on the African continent.Foreign relations of Niue
Niue maintains diplomatic relations with various other countries and multilateral organizations.
Niue is a small island country in the Pacific Ocean in a state of free association with New Zealand. The Queen in right of New Zealand is the head of state of Niue - as such Niue is part of the Realm of New Zealand.
The Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs records that in 1988 "New Zealand stated ... that its future participation in international agreements would no longer extend to ... Niue". Niue was granted membership of UNESCO in 1993 and the World Health Organization in 1994. Also in 1994, the United Nations Secretariat "recognized the full treaty-making capacity ... of Niue".New Zealand retains a constitutional link with Niue in relation to citizenship, with people from Niue being citizens of New Zealand.Niue conducts bilateral relations with other countries and interacts with the international community as an independent state.Despite self-rule, New Zealand manages its defence and foreign affairs on Niue's request. Like the Cook Islands, however, Niue has begun to establish formal diplomatic relations with sovereign states. As of September 2016, 20 other states maintain diplomatic relations with Niue. China's ambassador to New Zealand, Zhang Limin, is accredited to Niue, and became the first Chinese ambassador to present his credentials there in October 2008.List of diplomatic missions in the Cook Islands
This is a list of diplomatic missions in the Cook Islands. Although the Cook Islands is an associated state of New Zealand, it maintains diplomatic relations with 52 states. At present, the capital of Avarua hosts one mission. Additionally, there are embassies accredited to the Cook Islands and residing outside the country. They are in Canberra, Suva and Wellington.List of diplomatic missions of the Cook Islands
This page lists the Diplomatic missions of the Cook Islands. Although the Cook Islands is an associated state of New Zealand, it maintains diplomatic relations with 52 states. The Cook Islands has one diplomatic mission abroad (a high commission in New Zealand). This high commission has multiple accreditation. The Cook Islands also has a number of honorary consulates.List of sovereign states
The following is a list providing an overview of sovereign states around the world, with information on their status and recognition of their sovereignty.
The 206 listed states can be divided into three categories based on membership within the United Nations system: 193 member states, two observer states and 11 other states. The sovereignty dispute column indicates states whose sovereignty is undisputed (190 states) and states whose sovereignty is disputed (16 states, of which there are six member states, one observer state and nine other states).
Compiling a list such as this can be a difficult and controversial process, as there is no definition that is binding on all the members of the community of nations concerning the criteria for statehood. For more information on the criteria used to determine the contents of this list, please see the criteria for inclusion section below. The list is intended to include entities that have been recognised as having de facto status as sovereign states, and inclusion should not be seen as an endorsement of any specific claim to statehood in legal terms.List of sovereign states and dependent territories by continent
This is a list of sovereign states and dependent territories of the world by continent, displayed with their respective national flags, including the following entities:
By association within the UN system:
The 193 member states of the United Nations (UN).
Vatican City (administered by the Holy See, a UN observer state), which is generally recognized as a sovereign state.
Palestine (A UN observer state).
By Other States:
Generally this contains States with limited recognition and associated states not members of the United Nations
Partially recognised de facto sovereign states without UN membership, such as the Republic of Kosovo and Taiwan
De facto sovereign states lacking general international recognition
Cook Islands and Niue, two associated states of New Zealand without UN membership
By Dependent Territories of other UN member states:
Generally this contains non-sovereign territories that are recognized by the UN as part of some member state.
Special territories recognized by international treaty (such as the special administrative regions of China).
Other territories often regarded as separate geographical territories even though they are integral parts of their mother countries (such as the overseas departments of France).This list divides the world using the seven-continent model, with islands grouped into adjacent continents. Variations on are noted below and discussed in the following articles; Continent, Boundaries between the continents of Earth, and List of transcontinental countries.Outline of Oceania
The following outline is provided as an overview and topical guide to Oceania.
Oceania is a geographical, and geopolitical, region consisting of numerous lands—mostly islands in the Pacific Ocean and vicinity. The term is also sometimes used to denote a continent comprising Australia and proximate Pacific islands.The boundaries of Oceania are defined in a number of ways. Most definitions include parts of Australasia such as Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea, and parts of Maritime Southeast Asia. Ethnologically, the islands of Oceania are divided into the subregions of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.Outline of the Cook Islands
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Cook Islands:
Cook Islands – self-governing parliamentary democracy in free association with New Zealand. The fifteen small islands in this South Pacific Ocean country have a total land area of 240 square kilometres (92.7 sq mi), but the Cook Islands Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covers 1.8 million square kilometres (0.7 million sq mi) of ocean. The main population centres are on the island of Rarotonga (c.10,000), where there is an international airport. Defence is the responsibility of New Zealand, in consultation with the Cook Islands and at its request. In recent times, the Cook Islands have adopted an increasingly independent foreign policy.Pacific Alliance Leaders Meeting
The Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM) is a forum between the government of Japan and leaders in the Pacific Islands region. The Pacific Island Leaders Meeting was established by Japan in 1997 in order to facilitate and strengthen relations with the leaders of the nations of the Pacific Islands Forum. Since its foundation, PALM has become an important venue of dialogue between Japan and Pacific Island nations for important issues such as development aid and climate change.Politics of the Cook Islands
The politics of the Cook Islands, an associated state, takes place in a framework of a parliamentary representative democracy within a constitutional monarchy. The Queen of New Zealand, represented in the Cook Islands by the Queen's Representative, is the Head of State; the prime minister is the head of government and of a multi-party system. The Islands are self-governing in free association with New Zealand and are fully responsible for internal affairs. New Zealand retains some responsibility for external affairs, in consultation with the Cook Islands. In recent years, the Cook Islands have taken on more of its own external affairs; as of 2005, it has diplomatic relations in its own name with eighteen other countries. Executive power is exercised by the government, while legislative power is vested in both the government and the islands' parliament. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislatures.