Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has completed two days of engagements with European and regional counterparts at the Indo-Pacific Forum, co-hosted by the European Union and France, in Paris.
“It was an honour to represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the Indo-Pacific Forum. The common aspiration and deep commitment among partners to work closely together across Europe and the Indo Pacific was very clear. There was a strong will to take strategic action and have an impact on the priorities of our Indo-Pacific region,” Nanaia Mahuta said.
Nanaia Mahuta was one of two Indo Pacific Ministers invited to co-chair roundtable discussions during the Forum. Alongside executive Vice President Frans Timmermans, the Minister co‑chaired the roundtable on global issues affecting the Indo-Pacific including climate change, health, biodiversity and just transitions.
At the session Nanaia Mahuta ensured that Aotearoa New Zealand’s voice and perspectives on the challenges in our region were considered, including the views of our Pacific neighbours, on issues such as climate change and the acute challenges of the pandemic.
“The forum was also an opportunity to discuss our shared response to global challenges of the day, not least the most recent Russia/Ukraine developments, which Aotearoa New Zealand has been clear about.
“Despite the benefits of virtual meetings there is no substitute for face-to-face engagement. With nearly 60 Foreign Ministers around the world gathered at one forum, it was an invaluable opportunity to meet so many of my ministerial counterparts formally and informally, and share perspectives on human rights, security challenges in our region, climate action and the resilience of the Pacific in light of COVID-19.
During the two-day programme in Paris, Nanaia Mahuta met ministerial counterparts from India, Thailand, Spain, Germany and Sweden in addition to hosts French Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, and EU High Representative, Josep Borrell. Central to the programme on Tuesday was the EU-convened Ministerial Forum for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, which brought together Ministers from EU countries and the Indo-Pacific region.
Nanaia Mahuta is now in the United Kingdom, where she will undertake a bilateral programme in London, before departing to Geneva for the final leg of her visit.