In our meeting today we reaffirmed that New Zealand and Germany enjoy a warm and long standing relationship, noting the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries.
This is a relationship built on shared values, including respect for the rule of law, democratic principles, multilateralism, human rights and sustainability, and fostered through strong people-to-people ties and international cooperation. We enjoyed the opportunity to reflect on our joint areas of cooperation and explore ways to further deepen our partnership, including by intensifying high level engagement between our governments.
Support for the rules-based international order
New Zealand and Germany are committed to upholding the rules-based international order at a time when it is under increasing pressure. We are partners in addressing common challenges to the free and open international order based on the rule of law. We will strive to ensure national sovereignty is respected and that resilience against undue political or economic coercion is strengthened.
We are committed to promoting peace and stability, including in the Indo-Pacific. We emphasize the universal and unified character of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. We also agree on the need to promote an Indo-Pacific region that is open and inclusive, that respects sovereignty and adheres to international law including the freedoms of overflight and navigation. New Zealand and Germany strongly support ASEAN centrality.
We underline that all Members of the United Nations must refrain from the threat or use of force against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of any state in accordance with the United Nations Charter. We reaffirm our unequivocal condemnation of Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine, a flagrant violation of international law and the UN Charter. We demand Russia’s complete and unconditional withdrawal from the territory of Ukraine in respect of its internationally recognized borders. Russia must not be allowed to succeed in achieving its war aims and we both must continue to support Ukraine in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity in coordination with our partners.
We will continue to work together in multilateral fora to promote universal human rights and democratic principles. Our engagement in the Equal Rights Coalition is but one example of our cooperation that seeks to strengthen the rights, representation and resources of marginalised groups. As likeminded partners, we are both committed to a free, open and rules-based trading system, including through the WTO. We also agree on the need for reform of multilateral institutions to ensure they remain relevant, responsive and representative.
We are strong supporters of the international nuclear disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation architecture. New Zealand and Germany are likeminded partners in this area, and there is much potential in our cooperation. We have recently siged an “Agreement on the Mutual Protection of Classified Information”, which demonstrates our close cooperation on and mutual trust in security matters.
Cooperation in the Pacific
New Zealand welcomes Germany's increasing presence in and commitment to the Pacific Islands region. Both countries are committed to engaging with the Pacific through regional institutions, processes and mechanisms, and in ways that respond to Pacific priorities including climate change and post-COVID economic recovery. New Zealand and Germany strongly support the Pacific Islands Forum’s 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent and look forward to engaging in its implementation. Aotearoa New Zealand and Germany are committed to further cooperation across the Pacific, with a particular focus on climate action.
Climate change and sustainability
Germany and New Zealand are firmly committed to taking ambitious action on climate change to limit global warming to 1.5°C. This requires rapid, deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions this decade alignment with 1.5 consistent pathways including a peak of global emissions by 2025, and increasing renewables and reducing fossil fuels in the context of transitioning our and the global energy system to zero emissions by 2050, if not sooner. We are also both committed to deepening our bilateral cooperation on renewable energy.
We underline our commitment to the goals of the Paris Agreement and advocate for stronger mitigation ambition at COP28 and in other international fora, such as this year`s UN Climate Ambition Summit. This should include achieving the USD 100 billion annual climate finance goal, collectively doubling adaption finance by 2025, and global goals for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and fossil fuels. We recognise the vital role of science in the climate response and the clear guidance from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which represents the most robust and comprehensive assessment of climate science, regarding the risks, adverse impacts, and losses and damage that will escalate with every increment of global warming.
Noting the strong linkages between climate action and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, we acknowledge with deep concern the existential threat climate change poses to small island developing states, including in the Pacific region. We will explore opportunities to collaborate on Pacific-led projects which address regional climate change priorities including improving the availability of climate finance such as through the Pacific Resilience Facility and the Green Climate Fund, accelerating energy transition, building resilience and addressing loss and damage - particularly the impact of slow onset events and non-economic losses and damages.
New Zealand and Germany enjoy deep people-to-people links based on educational, cultural and economic ties and through welcoming tourists, students, business people and other visitors from each other’s countries. Both sides agreed to look at ways to maximise the potential of the Working Holiday Scheme and acknowledged the value of the Goethe Institute and various cultural education exchanges, including the partnership between Education New Zealand and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), in fostering connections and future opportunities for cooperation.
New Zealand acknowledged the recent repatriations of the remains of Māori and Moriori ancestors and taonga Māori from several institutions across Germany as a welcome example of strong cultural ties between New Zealand and Germany.
New Zealand and Germany welcome the historic milestone of the signature of the New Zealand-European Union Free Trade Agreement including high commitments regarding sustainable aspects anchored in the Trade and Sustainable Development chapter. We now turn to the important pathway forward to swift ratification and entry into force of the Agreement so that the benefits and opportunities for both sides can be realised as soon as possible. As likeminded partners, we are both committed to free, open and sustainable and inclusive trade within a rules-based international order. There are strong commercial links between our two countries and high potential for these to grow further, particularly as both countries aim to diversify their trade and strengthen supply chains.
Science and innovation
New Zealand and Germany enjoy strong science and innovation links. The Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement between our countries is over 45 years old, and this has enabled cooperation on a wide range of initiatives including green hydrogen, sustainable transformation of agri-food systems, space and Antarctic research. This relationship has potential to grow further following New Zealand's recent signature of the Horizon Europe Association Agreement. This will open up fresh opportunities for collaboration for both New Zealand and German researchers.