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

I thank the Secretary-General for his strong statement today.

New Zealand welcomes the unanimous adoption of resolution 2321 (2016), which strengthens and expands the sanctions in place against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. This year has seen the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s defiance of the international community and its flouting of international norms reach new heights. As the Secretary-General 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 those developments, it is entirely appropriate that the 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 those is our concern at the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s dangerous and provocative behaviour and its ongoing defiance of the Council and of its own international obligations. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’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 the actions of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — 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 that 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 to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea 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. The resolution sends 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 denuclearization 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 that it puts in place can help set us back on the path towards a return to negotiations and ultimately the resolution of this long-standing security challenge.