Defence Minister, Andrew Little, will depart for Singapore tomorrow to attend the 20th annual Shangri-La Dialogue for Defence Ministers from the Indo-Pacific region.
Minister Little said the event brought many countries together to speak frankly and express views about defence issues.
“New Zealand is a long-standing participant in the Shangri-La dialogue, and the forum is more important than ever, as we face an increasingly complex geostrategic environment, and the effects of climate change in the South Pacific,” he said.
“I’ll also be taking the opportunity to meet one on one with counterparts from a number of countries including Canada, Ukraine, China, Singapore and the UK.”
Mr Little will also join a panel discussion about Nuclear Dimensions of Regional Security to reassert New Zealand’s long-standing view that nuclear weapons should be verifiably and irreversibly eliminated.
“New Zealand has a long-standing nuclear-free policy. We continue to be strong advocates for a world without nuclear weapons because there are no circumstances in which their use could be morally justified,” he said.
The annual Shangri-La Dialogue is convened by the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) in Singapore.
Special sessions on the agenda for the 20th Dialogue include the topics of: Security Implications of Cyber and Technological Competition; Challenges of Asia-Pacific Military Capability Development; and Nuclear Dimensions of Regional Security.
The Minister will return to New Zealand on 5 June.