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Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee has returned to New Zealand after attending the 48th annual Pacific Islands Forum in Samoa, on behalf of Prime Minister Bill English.

“During the Forum, Pacific Leaders discussed and made decisions on a number of important regional issues," Mr Brownlee says.

“New Zealand’s proposition, with Australia’s support, to commit to deregistering any North Korean trading and fishing vessels currently flagged on Pacific states’ shipping registers was unanimously agreed to by Pacific Leaders.

"New Zealand looks forward to working with Pacific countries to identify and de-register illegally flagged North Korean vessels.

“Options for New Zealand support, working alongside Australia, include the sharing of intelligence and also providing maritime and legal expertise on the operation of shipping registries.

"By working together, the Pacific region can do its bit to help ensure that United Nations Security Council sanctions on North Korea are fully and effectively enforced.

"Pacific Leaders also held discussions on a range of important regional issues, including fisheries, climate change, security and trade.

"Leaders initiated discussions on a new comprehensive, regional security declaration and welcomed the signing by 11 Forum Members of the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations.

"I would like to thank Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa for chairing an effective and well run Forum," Mr Brownlee says.

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