Statement delivered by Gerard van Bohemen, Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations, 30 November 2016

I thank the Secretary-General for his briefing and his presence here today. New Zealand welcomes the unanimous adoption of today’s resolution strengthening and expanding the sanctions in place against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

2016 has seen the DPRK’s defiance of the international community and its flouting of international norms reach new heights.

As the Secretary-General has reminded us, the Council has met many times this year to discuss North Korea’s succession of nuclear and ballistic missile tests. 

These events, and the overall trajectory of the situation on the Korean peninsula, are sources of great concern and frustration for New Zealand.

Given the seriousness of these developments it is entirely appropriate that this resolution provides for some of the strongest sanctions ever imposed by the Security Council. 

New Zealand has co-sponsored the resolution for a number of reasons.

Not least of these is our concern at the DPRK’s dangerous and provocative behaviour, and its ongoing defiance of this Council and its international obligations.

The DPRK’s continued provocations pose arguably the most significant threat to the security of New Zealand’s region, the Asia-Pacific.

New Zealand’s support also reflects our commitment to the nuclear non-proliferation regime, to which North Korea’s actions - as the only country to have tested nuclear weapons this century - pose a grave challenge.

We commend the United States and China for their leadership and cooperation in preparing the measures set out in today’s resolution.

It is now the responsibility of the international community to ensure the measures in the resolution are fully implemented and effectively enforced. 

Coordinated and comprehensive implementation by Member States is one of the strongest signals the international community can send the DPRK - that its continued proliferation activities and disregard for international obligations will not be tolerated, and that a change of course is urgently needed.

Ultimately, sanctions are a means, not an end, for effecting change on the Korean peninsula.

This resolution provides a further signal to North Korea’s leadership that their current path of isolation and defiance of international norms is wrong-headed and that a return in good faith to negotiations on denuclearisation provides the best prospects for the security and prosperity of their country and their people.

We hope that today’s resolution and the strengthened measures it puts in place can help set us back on the path towards a return to negotiations and ultimately a resolution of this long-standing security challenge.

Thank you Mr President.