New Zealand warned Saturday about the “fraying” prosperity and security of the Pacific.
“New Zealand has long and deep connections to the Pacific through language, peoples, ocean, history, culture, politics and shared interests,” Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta told the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
“We are concerned that the order that has underpinned prosperity and security in our region for most of the past seven decades is increasingly fraying,” she said.
Mahuta said New Zealand does “not believe that recent events witnessed in other parts of the world need become the inevitable trajectory of our Blue Pacific region.”
“Diplomacy is our strongest tool. Peace and stability is our goal,” she said. The regional architecture must be “inclusive and provide space for all those who wish to contribute positively to our region.”
“International partners are encouraged to listen, engage and contribute to the sustainable development of our region, in a manner that puts the priorities of the region first and recognizes the independence of those for whom the region is home,” said Mahuta.
Referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Kiwi foreign minister said the war has “highlighted geostrategic tensions and heightened nuclear risks.”
“Nuclear weapons must never be used. We must be unequivocal in our determination to reduce nuclear threats, and do so immediately,” she said.
Mahuta said New Zealand “strongly supports efforts to hold Russia to account in both the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.”
“How can younger generations have confidence in the UN when a permanent member of the Security Council acts in a manner so fundamentally contrary to the UN Charter?” she asked rhetorically.