BRITAIN and New Zealand will co-host a forum on Pacific climate change issues later this year.
NZ Foreign Minister Winston Peters welcomed the pledge on closer co-operation in the Pacific made by his British counterpart Boris Johnson following talks between the pair in London.
The pair met at the Churchill War Rooms, an underground complex at Westminster where Winston Churchill and his Cabinet directed the course of World War II.
The two foreign ministers discussed a range of issues including future negotiations on a bilateral Free Trade Agreement post-Brexit in March 2019, and Peters reiterated New Zealand’s support for the UK following the attack in Salisbury.
Following the meeting, Johnson said the United Kingdom was one of the Pacific’s oldest friends and wanted to play an even more valuable role as a partner to Pacific Island countries.
“We have agreed that the United Kingdom and New Zealand will co-host a Wilton Park forum on Pacific climate change issues in the United Kingdom in December 2018,” he said.
“Pacific Island leaders have shone a light on the grave impacts of climate change. This forum will further highlight Pacific challenges and priorities, and show how the Pacific can be an early example for how to develop global responses to climate change.”
Peters welcomed Britain’s plan to ramp up its engagement in the Pacific and offered practical support for its efforts.
“Our discussions also underlined the ongoing strength of the ties between us, as well as the scope that exists for even deeper co-operation in many areas – whether through policy dialogue on priority issues, secondments and exchanges between government agencies, or practical initiatives to work together domestically and around the world,” Peters said in a statement.
Wilton Park is an international forum for strategic discussion and organises more than 60 events a year in the UK and overseas. It brings together leading representatives from politics, diplomacy, academia, business, civil society, the military and the media.