Australia, New Zealand, Fiji: Foreign Minister Baerbock travels to the crucial Indo-Pacific region

Return-to-Country Ceremony bringing four artefacts back to the Kaurna people in Adelaide, 03.05.2024. On the left Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock

Return-to-Country Ceremony bringing four artefacts back to the Kaurna people in Adelaide, 03.05.2024. On the left Australia's Foreign Minister Penny Wong and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, © Photothek Media Lab

06.05.2024 - Article

In spite of the more than 15,000 kilometres that lie between Germany and Australia and New Zealand, the countries are partners with shared values. From 1 to 7 May, Foreign Minister Baerbock is visiting Adelaide and Auckland, and from there she will travel on to Suva, the capital of Fiji.

Together with our partners in Australia and New Zealand, we are committed to protecting the international order, our natural resources and security interests, especially with regard to the challenges posed by China for the region.

Australia: From security policy to restitution of cultural property

In Adelaide, Foreign Minister Baerbock will meet her Australian counterpart Penelope Wong and other political partners with the aim of intensifying German-Australian relations and cooperation in the field of security policy. The focus will be on the situation in the Indo-Pacific and the role of China in the region. In keeping with this theme, the agenda includes a visit to a Cyber Collaboration Centre and a tour of a patrol vessel.

Like us, Australia is focused on reducing its economic dependencies. There is great joint potential in green hydrogen and raw materials; furthermore, the repatriation of indigenous cultural heritage objects is an expression of our long-standing friendship.

- Foreign Minister Baerbock

Australia is a continent characterised by cultural diversity. Annalena Baerbock will therefore also meet Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney. Ahead of the trip, cultural property from colonial contexts was returned to the indigenous community of the Kaurna people, representatives of which Foreign Minister Baerbock will also visit. After all, the protection of indigenous rights is the basis of cultural self-determination and development.

New Zealand: Bridge to the Pacific Island States

Außenministerin Baerbock lässt sich ein technisches Gerät des Weltraumzentrums der Universität Auckland erklären
Foreign Minister Baerbock at the Space Institute of thr University of Auckland© Photothek Media Lab

During Foreign Minister Baerbock’s visit to Auckland on 4 May and her meeting with her counterpart Winston Peters, the focus will not only be on bilateral and economic cooperation between our countries, but also on cooperation with the Pacific Island States, maintaining stability in the Indo-Pacific and getting the climate crisis under control. To this end, scientific institutions in Germany and New Zealand are to form a research partnership in Antarctica. Afterwards, Foreign Minister Baerbock will visit the Space Institute at the University of Auckland.

On the one hand, New Zealand is the gateway to the Pacific islands. But it is also looking far south – towards Antarctica. Here, we want to strengthen our scientific cooperation and also monitor the growing strategic risks.

- Foreign Minister Baerbock

Fiji: An ally in the fight against the climate crisis

Foreign Minister Baerbock visits the village Vuniniudrovo on Fiji
Foreign Minister Baerbock visits the village Vuniniudrovo on Fiji© Photothek Media Lab

The trip will conclude with a two‑day stay in the Republic of Fiji – the first visit by a German Foreign Minister to the island nation. Fiji is directly threatened by rising sea levels, which is why the impact of the climate crisis and disaster prevention is a particular focus. Among other things, Foreign Minister Baerbock will meet Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka, visit a Peacekeeping Camp and hold talks with the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum. During a visit to two villages that are particularly affected by the impacts of the climate crisis due to land erosion and flooding, Foreign Minister Baerbock will meet the inhabitants to find out more about their situation.


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