Ministry Statements & Speeches:
The Ministers reaffirmed the deep and long-standing partnership between Aotearoa New Zealand and Solomon Islands, and committed to working together as Pacific family to respond to shared challenges, such as those posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. Minister Mahuta confirmed the extension of the New Zealand Defence Force deployment to Solomon Islands as part of the Solomon Islands International Assistance Force.
The Ministers discussed the critical importance of the Pacific Islands Forum as a space for members to work together on issues of mutual interest and concern, particularly in light of the new challenges of the 21st Century.
Minister Mahuta reiterated Aotearoa New Zealand’s concerns about the recently signed security agreement between Solomon Islands and China, and welcomed Minister Manele’s assurances that the agreement will not lead to a Chinese military base. Minister Mahuta highlighted the need to understand and discuss the regional implications of the agreement amongst Forum Members.
The meeting was a chance to engage on the principle of Tātou Tātou — all of us together — and to reinforce Aotearoa New Zealand’s continued commitment to work with Solomon Islands on strengthening resilience, including economic, and enabling peace and security.