02 February 2010
Veterans’ Affairs Ministers from Australia, Canada and New Zealand, along with a representative of the United States, will discuss the future needs of service veterans at a Ministerial Forum in Wellington this week, Veterans Affairs Minister Judith Collins announced today.
The Veterans Administrations Ministerial International Forum is the fourth to be held since 2005, and will give the Ministers the opportunity to talk about issues of common interest and to hold bilateral discussions. The previous Forum was held in Washington in May 2008.
The theme of this week’s Forum is ‘Modernising Veterans’ Legislation’.
“The Ministers have a common interest in ensuring that each of our countries is responsive to the changing needs of veterans, both those whose service ended many years ago and those still currently serving,” Ms Collins said.
“New Zealand is in the process of reviewing its 55-year-old legislation relating to veterans. The Forum will be an invaluable opportunity to discuss with other countries who have already undertaken a revision of their legislation how this has been done and to learn from those experiences.”
The Australian delegation will be led by Minister of Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin.
The United States will be represented by Acting Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Health of the Veterans Health Administration, Robert A. Petzel MD.
Canada’s delegation will be led by Minister of Veterans’ Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), Jean-Pierre Blackburn.
The Forum begins on Thursday and concludes with a wreath laying ceremony at the National War Memorial in Wellington at 3pm on Friday.
Media contact: Stefan Herrick 04 817 9809 or 021 748 492