'Defeat ISIS' meeting in Copenhagen first trip for new Defence Minister

  • 06/05/2017
Mark Mitchell
Mark Mitchell at the Royal NZ Air Force's Auckland base on Friday (@NZAirForce / Twitter)

Defence Minister Mark Mitchell is on his way to Copenhagen to attend an international Defeat-ISIS ministerial meeting.

The meeting will be on May 9 and is Mr Mitchell's first international engagement as Defence Minister.

"The fight against ISIS, also known as Daesh, is going well and the global coalition has won significant territory back and continues to degrade Daesh's capability," he said before leaving.

"However, Daesh continues to pose a significant threat to international security and we must continue to work together."

The meeting of defence ministers from the countries in the coalition against ISIS will focus on the next steps in the campaign.

"It is an excellent opportunity for me to engage with other leaders from around the world and show that New Zealand's support to the coalition remains firm," said Mr Mitchell, who was sworn in this week.

New Zealand has 106 troops at Camp Taji in Iraq, helping train local forces to fight ISIS.

Peace rally in Auckland

Meanwhile an "emergency" peace rally in Aotea Square on Saturday at 2pm is a response to the rising threat of war in the Korean Peninsula and an escalation of the war in Syria, organisers say.

The rally is being organised by a coalition of groups who oppose wars in the Middle East and Asia.

They also want an independent investigation into the allegations of war crimes by New Zealand troops made in Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson's book Hit & Run.

They want New Zealand troops withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan and no troops sent to Syria or Korea.

They also want New Zealand to welcome more refugees.

"People are really worried about (US President Donald) Trump starting a global nuclear war," says Auckland Peace Action spokeswoman Virginia Lambert.

"This Peace Rally is an opportunity to come together to express our collective opposition to war."

NZN