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Peters heads to Viet Nam for APEC meetings

Peters heads to Viet Nam for APEC meetings

Foreign Minister Winston Peters leaves for Hanoi on Monday for a joint meeting of Foreign and Trade Ministers ahead of the annual APEC Leaders' summit.

Mr Peters will take part in a full-day Ministerial retreat on Wednesday and the formal APEC Ministerial meeting on Thursday, and will also hold bilateral meetings with a broad range of counterparts from the Asia-Pacific region.

He and Trade Minister Phil Goff will then brief Prime Minister Helen Clark on Friday morning, prior to the APEC Leaders' meeting over the weekend. "In recent years APEC, in addition to its traditional trade and economic agenda, has devoted greater attention to broader human security issues," Mr Peters said.

"This has covered issues such as counter-terrorism, energy security, pandemic planning in the wake of the avian flu outbreaks, and disaster management and emergency preparedness.

“North Korea's recent nuclear test will ensure that regional security concerns feature strongly. The United States, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea are all APEC members as well as participants in the Six Party Talks on North Korea's nuclear programme. The day-long Ministerial retreat will be an excellent opportunity to hear their views on the way ahead.

“More broadly, this year APEC has continued to develop a number of counter-terrorism activities and initiatives. Ministers will need to consider these, as well as continue to promote ongoing efforts in other areas to help minimise risks to regional security."

Mr Peters said initiatives to restart the stalled WTO Doha Round negotiations were certain to be high on the agenda for Trade Ministers, with APEC members accounting for over half of the world's GDP and just under half of global trade.

ENDS

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