Covers the period from April 2001 to March 2004.

Population: Cook Islands and Samoa: 178,000 (aggregate); Niue: 1,8125
Government armed forces: no armed forces
Compulsory recruitment age: not applicable
Voluntary recruitment age: not applicable
Voting age: 18; 21 Samoa
Optional Protocol: not signed
Other treaties ratified (see glossary): Cook Islands: CRC, GC AP I and II Niue: CRC Samoa: CRC, GC AP I and II, ICC

No armed forces are maintained by the governments of Cook Islands, Niue and Samoa. Defence is provided by New Zealand.


National recruitment legislation and practice

Under the 1965 constitution of the Cook Islands, defence is the responsibility of New Zealand. This responsibility would be acted upon only at the request of the government of the Cook Islands. The New Zealand armed forces administer a Mutual Assistance Programme, which aims to support the Pacific Patrol Boat operations and the police, and provides training, including in using and securing small arms.6

The 1974 constitution of Niue, which provides for self-government in free association with New Zealand, states that New Zealand is responsible for external affairs and defence.7 Under New Zealand's Niue Constitution Act, No. 42 of 1974, "Nothing in this Act or in the Constitution shall affect the responsibilities of Her Majesty The Queen in right of New Zealand for the external affairs and defence of Niue".8

Under the 1962 Treaty of Friendship between Samoa and New Zealand, New Zealand agrees to "consider sympathetically" requests from Samoa for "technical, administrative and other assistance", and both governments agree to consult as appropriate on "matters of mutual interest and concern". Under a Mutual Assistance Programme, the New Zealand armed forces have provided training for Samoan police officers in preparation for their deployment with the UN in Timor-Leste.9

5 The Statesman's Yearbook 2004, op. cit.

6 New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Cook Islands Country Paper, August 2003, (Foreign and trade policy, Pacific, Pacific Island relationships).

7 New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Niue Country Paper, August 2003. 8 Niue Constitution Act, posted at New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

9 New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Samoa Country Paper, May 2003.


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