Defence Minister, Peeni Henare will depart for Singapore tomorrow to attend the region’s premier defence and security forum, the 19th annual Shangri-La Dialogue.
While in Singapore, Minister Henare will conduct bilateral meetings with counterparts from countries including Australia, Singapore, Canada, and the Republic of Korea.
“The Shangri-La Dialogue is the chance to meet with Defence Ministers one-on-one to discuss security challenges in the Indo-Pacific. I am looking forward to sitting down with our defence partners to discuss my key priorities for Defence, including the Pacific,” Mr Henare said.
“Given the current challenges threatening our region, it is important to take this opportunity to speak directly with my counterparts to ensure we maintain effective relationships with our partners.”
The Minister will also join a panel to deliver a speech on threats climate change poses to Pacific Island countries and their militaries, and efforts New Zealand is undertaking with respect to green security and defence.
The annual Shangri-La Dialogue, convened by the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) in Singapore, is the leading forum for Defence Ministers in the Indo-Pacific.
Since its launch in 2002, the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue has attracted top-level military officials, diplomats, experts, commentators and defence-industry executives from across the world. The summit did not take place in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
“The IISS continues to believe in the role of face-to-face diplomacy to solve global problems. At a time of ever-rising interest in Asian security affairs, we look forward to welcoming delegates to Singapore for in-person diplomatic discussions,” said Executive Director at IISS–Asia, James Crabtree.
After the Shangri-La Dialogue, the Minister will travel to the Republic of Korea for a three-day visit to meet with New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed as part of the United Nations Military Armistice Commission.
“The work of our NZDF personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is an important illustration of New Zealand’s commitment to ensure peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” he said.
The Minister will also lay a wreath at the National War Memorial acknowledging the 45 New Zealand lives lost during the Korean War.