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Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the New Year 2020 Honours List highlights the valuable contribution Pacific social entrepreneurs and innovators make to New Zealand, the Pacific region and the world.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles.

Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Bali to represent New Zealand at the 12th Bali Democracy Forum that will be held on the 5-6 December.

Talofa lava, malo e lelei, kia orana, taloha ni, fakaalofa lahi atu, ni sa bula vinaka, Talofa, Kia ora, tēnā koutou katoa. Warm Pacific greetings to you all.

I am really pleased I could be here with you today - to share this time with so many great innovators, thinkers and policymakers. Thank you for making the time to be here and for answering the call to come and share your expertise with us. I am looking forward to meeting and chatting with some of you later and hearing about the outstanding work you do.

The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says the new Languages Innovation Fund is designed to support Pacific grassroots initiatives that will increase awareness, celebrate, grow and inspire the daily use of Pacific languages in Aotearoa.

Talofa lava, malo e lelei, kia orana, taloha ni, fakaalofa lahi atu, ni sa bula vinaka, Talofa, kia ora, tena koutou katoa. Warm Pacific greetings to you all.

A great pleasure to be here at Orakei Marae with you all to welcome you to the third Pacific Parliamentary Forum.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to be here with us in New Zealand.

Tokelau Language Week starts today and the theme encourages us to reflect on the unique place of Aotearoa as a Pacific nation, now and in the future.

Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October.

Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all.

Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with local custom.

The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence.

Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities.

“Fijian Language Week starts on Sunday and the theme reminds us how important it is that we each have something to anchor ourselves to, something that can help us pause and feel in control in a rapidly changing world,” says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.

Chair, New Zealand commends this mid-term review of the Samoa Pathways. Let me convey to you the picture that I see as we conduct this review.
There is an unprecedented, man-made storm coming our way. Our youth can see the dark clouds gather at the outer limits of the horizons. We must paddle our canoe to safety and we must do it quickly. We must all paddle in the same direction or we’ll be caught by the storm and die.

The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says when he was in Tuvalu recently for the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), the leaders reaffirmed climate change as the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific, but it was the youth of the Pacific region who reminded everyone that one of the issues often overlooked is the effect this crisis could have on Pacific languages.

We acknowledge that the subject of this event can be highly sensitive, and we understand and respect the reasons why this can be a delicate issue for people in our region. Ideally, countries of the world would be rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions to ensure that people do not need to move because of climate change.

In the Pacific, climate change-related mobility is, so far, limited to internal movements, such as people moving inland away from rising sea levels and coastal hazards. That’s what we would expect, given the passionate desire of Pacific peoples to not be forced to leave their homes, their communities, their countries, and their land and sea.

I wish to extend thanks to the organisers of today’s High Level Meeting.

In 2018, New Zealand’s Defence Assessment identified climate change is one of the most significant security threats of our time. The Pacific Island Forum’s Boe Declaration expands on this definition.

New Zealand is pleased that the links between climate change and security are increasingly being recognised, including through the good work of this Group of Friends. We add our voice to Germany and others to call on all big industrial nations to pick up the pace.

Excellences, colleagues, members of the diplomatic corps, ladies and gentlemen, kia ora tatou katoa, warm Pacific greetings to one and all.

Thank you for this opportunity to speak today.

We know that climate change is the single biggest threat to the livelihoods and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific and there is an urgent, immediate, and unprecedented need for greater and more ambitions action. And in my privileged position as Minister for Pacific Peoples, as I listen to my elders, the two, three, that have spoken earlier and as I get to engage with our Pacific leaders right across the Pacific region – we’re leading.

Introductory remarks as Chair

This is an important and timely meeting. Here in New York the climate conversation has shifted from positions and negotiations, to action and ambition. The discussion about science and impacts and commitments is no longer controversial. Most of the world has now turned to action. Many of us here have set our sights on 1.5 degrees, a goal which resonates so strongly in the Pacific region.

It is a privilege to be here today at the inaugural ministerial meeting of the Group of Friends of the Victims of Terrorism. And I’d like to convey our warm thanks to the governments of Afghanistan and Spain for their leadership on this important issue.

The 15th of March 2019 is forever etched into the psyche of our peoples. New Zealand experienced its worst ever terrorist attack in which 51 individuals were killed – men, women and children – and dozens more injured in attacks against our Muslim community when they were worshipping in two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

Moderator, your Excellencies.
We in New Zealand remain deeply committed to supporting the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, which form the core of the body of international humanitarian law, applicable to armed conflicts.

Your Excellencies, good afternoon, tēnā koutou, warm Pacific greetings for you all.
I thank you for this opportunity to reaffirm Aotearoa New Zealand’s commitment to universal health coverage.
New Zealand believes firmly in the objectives of today’s event, the acceleration of progress towards achieving universal health coverage to build a healthier world for all.

Kia Ora and Warm Pacific Greetings.
The IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land is unequivocal: reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors is essential if global warming is to be kept to well below 2°C, if not 1.5°C. Changes to the global agriculture and food system are necessary if we are to address climate change, eliminate hunger and halt biodiversity loss.

Mr Secretary-General, it has been New Zealand’s honour to work with China in assisting you to prepare for your Summit.
The commitments on Nature-Based Solutions have demonstrated the significant action under way, working with nature to increase resilience and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But more than that, the commitments and initiatives will also protect biodiversity, strengthen food security and underpin sustainable livelihoods around the globe.

Kia Ora. Ni hao ma. Greetings and Warm Pacific Greetings.

It has been an honour to work with China and other coalition members to assist the Secretary-General in preparing for his Climate Action Summit. Nature-Based Solutions for climate change are something New Zealand has a strong focus on, and we look forward to working with many of you here to further this agenda.