Prime Ministers Jacinda Ardern and Boris Johnson

  • Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

Building a more secure, sustainable and prosperous future together: Joint Statement – Prime Ministers Jacinda Ardern and Boris Johnson

1. New Zealand and the United Kingdom are old friends and close partners. Our relationship rests on a bedrock of history, shared values, and deep people-to-people links, extending across almost all domains from science and innovation, sport, trade and investment, to security and defence. Most recently, we have been delighted to share in the celebrations for Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. To give leadership to our increasing range of shared issues, values and interests, we have agreed to establish an annual Foreign Ministers Dialogue.

2. As we look to rebound from the global COVID pandemic and reconnect with the world, the recent conclusion of a modern, high quality and comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA), a new customs arrangement, a new bilateral science arrangement, and the enhancement of our reciprocal Youth Mobility and Working Holiday schemes shows the scale of mutual interests underpinning our relationship as two vibrant democracies.

3. The FTA is a new cornerstone of the bilateral relationship, deepening our trade and economic links. The FTA also includes outcomes of importance to Māori trade interests and creates a platform for cooperation on issues of importance to Māori. The new Authorised Economic Operator customs arrangement will help secure trade between our countries, allowing trusted UK and New Zealand businesses to benefit from smoother customs processes at our respective borders. Our new Science and Innovation Arrangement will facilitate stronger collaboration between our researchers and businesses and support the development of new commercial products and services in fields such as agri-tech and climate change to address shared challenges. On health we commit to enhancing our cooperation on strengthening pandemic preparedness and global health security.

4. New Zealand warmly welcomes the UK’s application to accede to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and shares the UK’s ambition to complete accession this year through a process which ensures compliance with the obligations of the CPTPP and delivers the highest standards of market access. As the world’s fifth largest economy, and as a country committed to high standards and rules-based trade, the UK’s membership would significantly benefit the CPTPP, and the prosperity of the region.

5. As global trading nations, we each benefit from a robust international rules-based trading system. We commit to working harder to support an international system that is based on the rule of law, free from illegal and unilateral aggression, and economic coercion, where human rights are upheld and the freedom and sovereignty of all countries are protected regardless of their size.

6. We reiterate our unequivocal condemnation of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and call once more for Russia’s immediate withdrawal. We reaffirm our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and commit to continuing to encourage international cooperation to support Ukraine for as long as it takes. We will continue to coordinate on sanctions to raise the costs for Russia’s illegal and unjustified aggression, targeting strategic and economic sectors of significance for Russia, as well as Russia’s elite.

7. We reaffirm the value of our security and defence collaboration, demonstrated by New Zealand’s naval vessels and patrol aircraft joining the HMS Queen Elizabeth-led Carrier Strike Group, our defence forces coordinating assistance to Tonga after its earthquake and most recently the deployment of New Zealand defence personnel to the UK in support of Ukraine. The Five Eyes intelligence sharing arrangement remains a key pillar of our common security and in this context we are committed to bolstering our cooperation on issues including cyber, artificial intelligence, quantum and space. We highlight the importance of full implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and look forward to working together to achieve a meaningful outcome at the forthcoming Review Conference.

8. New Zealand welcomes the UK’s tilt towards the Indo-Pacific. We are committed to the peace and stability of the region. We reaffirm the importance of ASEAN, and our support for ASEAN centrality and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. We also reaffirm our support for freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea and beyond, in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Both countries also underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues via dialogue.

9. We note the anniversary of 25 years since the handover of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China. We reiterate our grave concerns regarding the erosion of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong and the human rights violations in Xinjiang.

10. We reaffirm our joint commitment to delivering on the Glasgow Climate Pact, and further COP26 commitments aimed at limiting global warming to 1.5°C. We recognise that action this decade is needed to achieve this temperature goal and prevent catastrophic climate impacts, and we call on countries to revisit and strengthen their 2030 emissions reduction targets as necessary. We will continue to work together to support the global transition to climate-resilient, sustainable agriculture. We look forward to agreeing a high ambition Global Biodiversity Framework at the COP15 Convention on Biological Diversity, to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030.

11. The UK and New Zealand will work together to deliver results for the Pacific more effectively and efficiently. We will enhance our existing efforts to support Pacific priorities and work with Pacific partners, in line with the Pacific Islands Forum’s upcoming 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. As well as cooperating on addressing the climate crisis in the Pacific including efforts to enhance access to climate finance, our support will help partners to respond to other urgent challenges: the COVID-19 pandemic; growing pressure on the rules-based free and open international order; access to concessional finance; economic resilience; debt management; and good governance. We are committed to working together to tackle Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing in the Pacific, which remains a serious threat to a healthy ocean. We are also committed to supporting developing countries to address marine environment issues, building on the UK’s £500m Blue Planet Fund. Our support is aimed at helping bolster Pacific regionalism, with a strong and united Pacific Islands Forum at its centre.

12. We are partners in ensuring online safety and security. We commit to safeguarding an open, free and secure internet and promoting regular dialogue and deepening cooperation on priorities such as disinformation. Tackling terrorist use of the internet is also a high priority for both our countries.

13. We look forward to the Christchurch Call Leaders’ Summit this September, when we intend to announce new measures to counter terrorist and violent extremist content online. We commit to work with international partners, civil society stakeholders and tech companies, through the Christchurch Call, on shared work to review the operation of algorithms and other processes that may drive users towards and/or amplify terrorist content. This includes by enhancing the evidence base through the delivery of research pilots.

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