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NZ to increase presence in the Caribbean

Rt Hon John Key
Prime Minister

NZ to increase presence in the Caribbean

Prime Minister John Key today announced that New Zealand will open a new High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados to increase our diplomatic presence in the Caribbean.

Mr Key made the announcement after a meeting with Foreign Ministers of the 15 member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) at the UN General Assembly in New York today.

“Like our Pacific region, the Caribbean is made up of a group of small island states and having our voice heard on the key global issues is important for us and for the relevance of the Security Council,” Mr Key says.

“Having recently attended the Pacific Islands Forum in the Marshall Islands, it was useful to see how its Caribbean counterpart operated. New Zealand understands the importance of a regional approach to overcoming the challenges small states can face on their own.

“If the UN is going to be a truly effective international body, it’s the quality of the contribution not the size of the country that counts.”

Mr Key’s announcement builds on increased engagement with the region, including visits by Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy Sir Don McKinnon earlier this year. Mr Key also announced an extension of New Zealand’s Honorary Consul network in the Caribbean region.

“The similarity of issues and challenges faced by both regions – renewable energy, non-communicable diseases, oceans and fisheries management and disaster risk management – means we have much to learn from each other.

“It was a real insight meeting with CARICOM Ministers and I look forward to New Zealand doing more in the region over many years,” Mr Key says.

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