United Nations praises NZ premier's 'admirable' response to Christchurch attacks

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United Nations praises NZ premier's 'admirable' response to Christchurch attacks

Guterres made the comments after arriving in Auckland, where he spoke to reporters alongside Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. He is in New Zealand until Tuesday, on his first stop in a broader Pacific trip.

The United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres has warned the world is "not on track" to meet its climate change commitments kicking off a historic trip throughout the Pacific meant to focus on the looming threat of climate change.

"New Zealand is helping to show the world that a just transition to a low emissions economy is possible and can lead to sustainable development and inclusive growth", Mr. Guterres said.

However, he said that political will has been fading in other countries, even though they are conscious of the need to act, which is one of the reasons for launching a special UN Climate Summit to be held at UN Headquarters in NY in September.

"Climate change is running faster than what we are. the last four years have been the hottest registered", TVNZ quoted Guterres as saying. The bill is expected to come to a final vote in Parliament later this year.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw, who was also at the event, promised Guterres that New Zealand would play its part in fighting climate change.

"The paradox is that as things are getting worse on the ground, political will seems to be fading", he said. I am extremely grateful for it.

"I'm very proud to be here and to start my visit to the Pacific in a country that is doing the right thing and should be followed by all other countries in the world".

António Guterres receives a powhiri at Government House in Auckland.

"To pay tribute to their courage, to their resilience but also to pay tribute to extraordinary unity and to the message of solidarity that was given by the people and the government of New Zealand", TVNZ reported.

Guterres normally visits a Muslim country during Ramadan, but in this instance has chosen to visit the Muslim community in Christchurch.

The UN chief also expressed his admiration for Ms. Ardern's rapid and decisive response to the mass shootings, which saw the Government immediately take measures to significantly strengthen gun control legislation, and her call to prevent hate speech on social media and the Internet.

One outlier to such inaction, said Guterres, is New Zealand.

Although Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ruled out a capital gains tax, a new tax on pollution is still on the table and is an area officials are still looking into.

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