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PM to attend international summits

PM to attend international summits

Prime Minister Helen Clark will represent New Zealand at international
summits in Singapore and Uganda, address a sustainable development
conference in Germany, and open New Zealand´s embassy in Egypt in the
latter part of November.

Helen Clark departs on 20 November to attend the East Asia Summit, in
Singapore. Climate change and environmental sustainability have been
identified as the main themes of the meeting.

"The inclusion of New Zealand in the inaugural EAS meeting in 2005 was a
significant milestone in our relations with East Asia. With this third Leaders´
meeting, the Summit is cementing its place in Asia´s regional architecture.
New Zealand´s involvement helps us deepen our relationships in the region.

"New Zealand also sees the EAS as a forum to promote discussion in the
region around the UN Alliance of Civilisations initiative to build greater
understanding between civilisations and faiths," Helen Clark said.

After the EAS, Helen Clark will travel to the Commonwealth Heads of
Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kampala, Uganda, from 23 - 25
November.

"New Zealand expects CHOGM to send a clear message in support of the
restoration of constitutional and democratic government in Fiji and Pakistan.

"The Commonwealth is a unique voice in world affairs. Its approximately two
billion citizens are drawn from a broad range of cultures, faiths, and
traditions, yet they can speak with a single voice on shared Commonwealth
values, including a strong commitment to democracy, good governance and
the rule of law.

"Heads of Government will also consider how the Commonwealth can
further build on these shared values to promote mutual respect and
understanding between faiths and communities."

"It is also hoped that CHOGM can help build momentum for positive
outcomes at the United Nations climate change summit in Bali in
December," Helen Clark said.

Helen Clark has been invited to speak at the German Sustainable
Development Council´s annual conference in Berlin on 27 November. She
will also meet Federal Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel and Federal Foreign
Affairs Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

"New Zealand and Germany have a strong relationship, founded on
extensive links across many sectors.

"My visit is an opportunity to build on German interest in New Zealand´s
aspirations to become truly sustainable and carbon neutral, and to highlight
the initiatives we are taking on climate change and broader sustainability
issues..

"Last year I spoke in Berlin about New Zealand and the European Union
being natural partners in a globalising world. Since then, we developed a
detailed action plan for co-operation with the EU. Germany is an important
partner for New Zealand in Europe.

Helen Clark then travels to Egypt on 28 November for the official opening of
the New Zealand embassy in Cairo. She will meet with President Mubarak,
the Prime Minister and other ministers, host a meeting for New Zealand and
Egyptian businesspeople, and visit the New Zealand Defence Force
contingent in the Multinational Force and Observers deployment in the Sinai.

"Our embassy opening in Cairo is aimed at boosting the development of
New Zealand´s relationships with Egypt and the wider region. Egypt hosts
the Arab League and is an acknowledged leader in the region.

"Egypt has long been an important Middle East trading partner and there is
potential for increased trade and other exchanges in a wide range of fields.

"New Zealand´s new embassy will boost efforts to build up the bilateral
relationship, and facilitate closer collaboration on international issues of
mutual concern, including nuclear disarmament," Helen Clark said.

Helen Clark returns to New Zealand on 2 December.

ENDS

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