New Zealand defence minister to discuss climate change, regional security at South Pacific Defence Ministers Meeting

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-08 13:56:32|Editor: Yamei
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WELLINGTON, May 8 (Xinhua) -- The security implications of climate change will be firmly on the agenda at South Pacific Defence Ministers Meeting held from Wednesday to Friday in Fiji, New Zealand Defence Minister Ron Mark announced on Wednesday.

"With the coalition government's Pacific Reset and the release of the Strategic Defence Policy Statement 2018, active engagement between New Zealand and South Pacific nations across all areas of cooperation has become more important than ever," said Mark.

"Our region is experiencing intense environmental impacts from climate change, all of which have flow-on economic, cultural and social consequences, and have the potential to heighten security concerns in our region and further afield."

The risk of concurrent and more extreme weather events is increasing, and over time there will be an increased requirement for regional defence forces to respond with humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, more search and rescue missions, and potentially stability operations, Mark added.

"I will be discussing these factors with my colleagues, alongside exchanges on regional security, operational commitments, counter-terrorism, military exercise coordination, and enhanced cooperation across our defence forces."