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UN chief in NZ for climate change discussions

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Wellington, May 12 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres arrived in New Zealand’s city of Auckland on Sunday for a three-day visit with a focus on climate change.

Guterres is visiting New Zealand for the first time in his role as UN Secretary-General. He previously visited the country as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was expected to meet the UN chief later in the day.

Guterres will visit both Auckland and Christchurch, including making a keynote speech at the Auckland University of Technology on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Secretary-General’s visit is the first leg of his tour to the Pacific region to see how climate change is impacting the region.

On Wednesday, the New Zealand government submitted to the Parliament the Zero Carbon Bill which outlines the country’s plan over the next 30 years on climate change and aims to reduce greenhouse gases to net zero by 2050.

Ardern said she was "looking forward to welcoming Secretary-General Guterres to New Zealand and discussing the issues that matter most to us and our region".

"The UN is the forum where we collectively address the global challenges we face, including climate change and international security," she said.

New Zealand strongly supports the role of the UN in upholding the international rules-based system and ensuring all voices are able to be heard, Ardern added.

Guterres will take part in a climate change and agriculture event in Christchurch on Tuesday as well as pay tribute to the victims of the March 15 terrorist attack which claimed 50 lives.

 

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