Secretary General: New Zealand is one of NATO’s closest global partners
[The Secretary General's opening remarks at the joint press conference appear below.]
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg praised the cooperation between NATO and New Zealand on Tuesday (6 August 2019)
and described how the partnership strengthened international security. Speaking alongside Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern,
Mr. Stoltenberg highlighted that over the years, NATO and New Zealand have worked together to end conflicts in the
Balkans, fight piracy off the Horn of Africa, and patrol the Mediterranean. The Secretary General also discussed with
the Prime Minister New Zealand’s important contributions in the fight against terrorism, including its role in NATO’s
training mission in Afghanistan.
Joint press point
by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern in Wellington, New Zealand
Prime Minister Ardern, Jacinda,
Thank you so much for that warm welcome.
It is a real pleasure to meet you again, just a few months after you visited NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
While the North Atlantic and South Pacific are far apart on the map, New Zealand is one of NATO’s closest global
Over the years, we have worked together to end bloody conflicts in the Balkans, fight piracy off the Horn of Africa, and
patrol the Mediterranean Sea.
Today, we discussed New Zealand’s important role in our training mission in Afghanistan. Including our shared efforts to
protect women’s rights. And I want to thank you, Prime Minister, for your decision to extend New Zealand’s deployment in
the NATO training mission. Your trainers at the National Army Defence Academy in Kabul are helping the Afghans create
the conditions for peace. And preventing Afghanistan from ever again becoming a safe haven for international terrorism.
We now see a real chance for peace in Afghanistan. We are closer to a peace deal than ever before. And NATO strongly
supports all efforts to achieve a negotiated solution.
New Zealand also plays a valuable role in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. And I welcome New Zealand’s training
efforts in Iraq, which complement NATO’s training mission there.
Terrorism comes in many forms and wears many guises. As we saw in Christchurch in March. And my own home country of
Norway in 2011. Yesterday, I visited Christchurch. I met with the mayor and with first responders. And I visited the Al
Noor Mosque. Where I expressed my deepest condolences to everyone affected by the terrorist attacks. I was moved by the
resilience of the local community. In the face of tragedy, the people of New Zealand stand strong for diversity,
democracy and tolerance. And I stand with you.
Prime Minister, I commend you for your response to the terrorist attack. Your outstanding leadership and courage have
impressed and inspired people around the world. You have shown that freedom prevails over oppression. Tolerance over
intolerance. And love always prevails over hate.
Many of the threats and challenges we see today are truly global. Including terrorism, but also cyber-attacks, and the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. So today we discussed a range of areas where NATO and New Zealand could
step up cooperation in the future. Including cyber defence, maritime security, and women’s full participation in
decision-making and security institutions. New Zealand’s values are NATO’s values. Together, we stand for democracy,
individual liberty and the rule of law. And together, we defend the international rules-based order which makes us all
safer and more secure.
Prime Minister Ardern, thank you again. I look forward to working with you to further strengthen the cooperation between
NATO and New Zealand.