Through the early part of the 2010s the New Zealand government carried out a sustained campaign for one of the elected (non-permanent) places on the United Nations Security Council, representing the ‘Western Europe and others’ group of member states. Despite having more limited resources and influence than the two other candidates, Spain and Turkey, New Zealand’s campaign was successful and it was elected in October 2014, along with Spain; Turkey missed out.
In the course of that campaign, New Zealand diplomats and government representatives criss-crossed Africa – 54 votes in the United Nations General Assembly out of 193 – to seek support for the candidacy. New Zealand opened a mission in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, accredited to both the African Union and to Ethiopia itself. New Zealand did not blitz African with an open cheque book but it promised a variety of types of social and economic assistance – agricultural expertise, language training for officials, and educational scholarships amongst them.