Minister to advocate for Small Island States

Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs Aupito William Sio has been appointed by the United Nations and Commonwealth as Aotearoa New Zealand’s advocacy champion for Small Island States.

“Aotearoa New Zealand as a Pacific country is particularly focused on the interests of Pacific Small Island Developing States in our region.

“This is a mission to get the global community to support these states, and to strengthen their resilience, especially around the pressing issue of climate change.

“I want to see an ambitious and effective global response to climate change; and for development partners and creditors to work more closely with small states to identify solutions to their access to finance, climate finance and debt sustainability challenges.

“If you ask Pacific leaders – what is the biggest security and economic threat to our region, they will universally say: it is climate change. Aotearoa New Zealand stands with the Pacific on climate change.

“We will strengthen Pacific island countries’ long-term environmental, economic, social and climate change resilience through our partnership. So I want the international community to work with small states to do the same, as these are all long-standing priorities for Pacific island countries.

“I look forward therefore, to working with other advocacy champions to seek and highlight international action on small states’ priorities,” said Aupito William Sio.