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Goff to South Korea, Hong Kong Nov 7-15


Goff to South Korea, Hong Kong Nov 7-15

Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff leaves tomorrow to visit South Korea, attending the Community of Democracies conference there, and a visit to Hong Kong.

“The visit to Seoul is an opportunity to meet with Korean Ministers and focus on current developments in inter-Korean relations and regional security issues such as the recent revelation by North Korea about its nuclear weapons programme.

“This issue is of serious concern to New Zealand and South Korea along with the other eleven members of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organisation (KEDO).

“New Zealand has made it clear that no further payments will be made to KEDO unless North Korea complies with its obligations in regard to non-proliferation.

“Next week in Seoul I will attend the second Ministerial Conference of the Communities of Democracy. The conference aims to assist emerging democracies by identifying best practices and forming an agenda for international cooperation.

“New Zealand is one of 111 countries attending including the United States, South Korea, Australia and France. The Community grew from a US initiative and met for the first time in Warsaw in 2000. Represented by Secretary of State Colin Powell, the US will once again play a leading role in this second meeting

“I will be participating in a Roundtable discussion on consolidating democratic institutions. I will outline fundamental changes in the past decade to democratic institutions in New Zealand which has made them stronger and contributed to good governance. These include changes to the electoral system and human rights legislation.

“The meeting will also produce a separate statement on terrorism. This will reflect the international community’s desire for a multilateral approach to combating terrorism.

“I will have the opportunity for meetings at the conference with a range of Ministers and officials including Colin Powell, Canadian Secretary of State David Gilgour, Chilean Foreign Minister Maria Soledad Alvear and Peruvian Foreign Minister Allen Wagner.

“The visit to Hong Kong will include meetings with the President of the Legislative Council, Secretary for Security, Chief Secretary and Secretary for Justice. I will be participating in a roundtable discussion on China and also meeting with New Zealand business contacts,” Mr Goff said.

Itinerary

Contact: Rebekah Riley of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is contactable on the following mobile numbers Seoul: 0082 16 9820 9523 Hong Kong: 021 779 119

Media calls can also be arranged through John Tulloch (see numbers above).

NB: New Zealand is 4 hours ahead of Seoul and 5 hours ahead of Hong Kong.

Thursday 7 November

Travel to Seoul.

Friday 8 November

10am to 4pm: Bilateral meetings with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Choi Sung-hong; Chair of National Assembly Unification, Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee, Suh Chung-hwa.

Saturday 9 November

Visit to Demilitarised Zone and meetings with Korean contacts.

Sunday 10 November

Bilateral meetings with Foreign Ministers and officials attending Democracies Conference.

Monday 11 November

9am to 6pm: Democracies Conference.

Tuesday 12 November

9am to noon: Democracies Conference Afternoon: Bilaterals.

Wednesday 13 November

Travel to Hong Kong.

4pm to 6pm: Roundtable meeting on China.

Thursday 14 November

10am to 4pm: Meetings with President Legislative Council, Rita Fan; Secretary for Security, Regina Ip; Chief Secretary, Donalt Tsang; Secretary for Justice, Elsie Leung.

Friday 15 November - Return to New Zealand.

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