New Zealand’s navy has reaffirmed its commitment to protecting maritime trade at a meeting of an international group of naval forces in Auckland.
The Royal New Zealand Navy announced Friday (January 25) it had hosted a meeting of The Pacific and Indian Oceans Shipping Working Group to promote common understanding for the coordination of shipping and maritime trade in the Pacific, Indian and South Atlantic oceans.
Representatives from 11 other countries — Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, India, South Korea, Singapore, Britain, and the United States — attended the meeting.
Royal New Zealand Navy Captain Phil O’Connell said regular monitoring of commercial shipping by naval forces globally had been undertaken for many years to guard against and monitor activities such as terrorism, sea robbery and piracy.
“Secure commercial shipping is vital for economic growth and global trade,” he said in a statement.
“New Zealand is the guardian for a large area of the Pacific Ocean and as such we have an important role in monitoring and maintaining our sea lines of communication, which are vital for the economic wellbeing of the nation and our Pacific neighbors,” he said.
“We are surrounded by ocean and rely on the sea to transport 99 percent of our imports and exports. Our navy works closely with other countries and is a valued international partner and the shipping working group is another good example of New Zealand working with other nations’ navies towards common goals.”
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