Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will represent New Zealand at Armistice commemorations in France and attended the inaugural Paris Peace Forum later today.
The official ceremony for the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the armistice ending World War I will be held at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, attended by Heads of State and Government representatives of the countries that fought and supported the war effort.
“These commemorations, 100 years on, are an opportunity to join together in remembrance of the great sacrifice made in the first World War,” said Mr Peters.
“The conflict took a huge toll on our young nation. Three in every five New Zealanders who fought in this war sustained casualties. More than 18,000 service men and women lost their lives.”
“New Zealand emerged from this conflict with a fierce commitment to the cause of peace, and a determination to play our part in building the kind of world we wanted to live in,” he said.
As part of the centenary commemorations, French President Emmanuel Macron will convene an international forum to promote peace. Intended to be an annual event, the Paris Peace Forum will provide a platform for World Leaders to reflect on current global security challenges and foster international cooperation.
Peace Forum participants are encouraged to deposit a book to be included in a ‘Library of Peace. Minister Peters will contribute New Zealand and the First World War: 1914-1919 by Damien Fenton, which chronicles New Zealand’s experience of World War 1 and its impact on the formation of its national character.