Do you think New Zealand should become a neutral country? Neutral country From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A neutral country in a particular war is a sovereign state which officially declares itself to be neutral towards the belligerents. A non-belligerent state does not need to be neutral. The rights and duties of a neutral power are defined in Sections 5[1] and 13[2] of the Hague Convention of 1907. A permanently neutral power is a sovereign state which is bound by international treaty to be neutral towards the belligerents of all future wars. An example of a permanently neutral power is Switzerland. The concept of neutrality in war is narrowly defined and puts specific constraints on the neutral party in return for the internationally recognised right to remain neutral. Neutralism or a “neutralist policy” is a foreign policy position wherein a state intends to remain neutral in future wars. A sovereign state that reserves the right to become a belligerent if attacked by a party to the war is in a condition of armed neutrality. Rights and responsibilities of a neutral power[edit] Belligerents may not invade neutral territory,[3] and a neutral power’s resisting any such attempt does not compromise its neutrality.[4] A neutral power must intern belligerent troops who reach its territory,[5] but not escaped prisoners of war.[6] Belligerent armies may not recruit neutral citizens,[7] but they may go abroad to enlist.[8] Belligerent armies’ personnel and material may not be transported across neutral territory,[9] but the wounded may be.[10] A neutral power may supply communication facilities to belligerents,[11] but not war material,[12] although it need not prevent export of such material.[13] Belligerent naval vessels may use neutral ports for a maximum of 24 hours, though neutrals may impose different restrictions.[14] Exceptions are to make repairs—only the minimum necessary to put back to sea[15]—or if an opposing belligerent’s vessel is already in port, in which case it must have a 24-hour head start.[16] A prize ship captured by a belligerent in the territorial waters of a neutral power must be surrendered by the belligerent to the neutral, which must intern its crew. Points of debate[edit] European Union[edit] The neutrality of some countries now in the European Union (Austria, Finland, Ireland, Malta) is under dispute, especially as the EU now operates a Common Foreign and Security Policy. This view was supported by the Finnish Prime Minister, Matti Vanhanen, on 5 July 2006, while speaking to the European Parliament as Council President; “Mr Pflüger described Finland as neutral. I must correct him on that: Finland is a member of the EU. We were at one time a politically neutral country, during the time of the Iron Curtain. Now we are a member of the Union, part of this community of values, which has a common policy and, moreover, a common foreign policy.”[34] Sweden has traditionally described itself as “Alliance-free with the intention of being neutral in any conflict”. Since joining the European Union, Sweden has changed its stance and is now making strong hints that it will support other European Union members in case of a conflict in its vicinity.[citation needed] Later, the ‘solidarity clause’ in the Lisbon Treaty was deemed sufficient to replace the Western European Union (WEU) military alliance’s mutual defence clause (where an attack upon one state is deemed an attack on all, resulting in military support from other members). As a result, the WEU was closed down with its mutual defence role having been absorbed by the European Union.[35] Irish neutrality is similarly debated; the state’s “traditional policy of military neutrality” is not defined in law, and referendums on the Treaty of Nice and on the Treaty of Lisbon were lost in part because of fears these would undermine Irish neutrality.[citation needed] Neutrality to forestall invasion[edit] Other countries may be more active on the international stage, while emphasising an intention to remain neutral in case of war close to the country.[36] By such a declaration of intentions, the country hopes that all belligerents will count on the country’s territory as off limits for the enemy, and hence unnecessary to waste resources on. The neutrality of Republic of Moldova is an interesting case. According to Ion Marandici, Moldova has chosen neutrality in order to avoid Russian security schemes and Russian military presence on its territory.[37] Even if the country is constitutionally neutral, some researchers argue that de facto this former Soviet republic never was neutral, because parts of the Russian 14th army are present at Bendery.[37] The same author suggests that one solution in order to avoid unnecessary contradictions and deepen at the same time the relations with NATO would be “to interpret the concept of permanent neutrality in a flexible manner”.[37] Many countries made such declarations during World War II. Most, however, became occupied, and in the end only the states of Andorra, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (with Liechtenstein), and Vatican (the Holy See) remained neutral of the European countries closest to the war. Their fulfilment to the letter of the rules of neutrality have been questioned: Ireland supplied some important secret information to the Allies; for instance, the date of D-Day was decided on the basis of incoming Atlantic weather information secretly supplied to them by Ireland but kept from Germany. Also, German pilots who crash landed in Ireland were interned, whereas their Allied counterparts usually went “missing” close to the border.[citation needed] Sweden and Switzerland, as embedded within Nazi Germany and its occupied territory, similarly made some concessions to Nazi requests as well as to Allied requests.[citation needed] Sweden was also involved in intelligence operations with the Allies, including listening stations in Sweden and espionage in Germany, as well as secret military training of Norwegian and Danish soldiers in Sweden.[citation needed] Spain also pursued a policy of “non-alignment” and sent a volunteer combat division to aid the Nazi war effort.[citation needed] Portugal officially stayed neutral, but actively supported both the Allies by providing overseas naval bases and Germany by keeping its war machine alight with the extensive sale of tungsten . According to Edwin Reischauer, “To be neutral you must be ready to be highly militarized, like Switzerland or Sweden.”[38] However, other countries—like Costa Rica—have claimed that having no army would strengthen their neutrality and democratic stability.[39] See also[edit] Armed neutrality Non-belligerent Neutral powers during World War II Irish neutrality Swedish neutrality Swiss neutrality International humanitarian law Portugal in World War II Dual loyalty Non-Aligned Movement Group of 77 OECD Policy of deliberate ambiguity In my personal opinion, I’d like to see New Zealand become a neutral country

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