This coming week, for the first time ever, a New Zealand Prime Minister will be taking part in a summit meeting of the Nato Alliance. We will not be alone. Australia, Japan and South Korea will be first-timers too.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has invited "partners" in the Pacific to help strengthen its response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the tacit blessing Vladimir Putin received from China's President Xi Jinping just before making his move.
It is hard to know whether China's increasingly autocratic leader shared Putin's low opinion of Western resolve when they met in February but there can be no doubt he is following Putin's fortunes with interest. China's Ukraine is Taiwan.
I wish New Zealand's Government showed more interest. It is playing down Jacinda Ardern's attendance at the summit. The announcement was buried in a press release that began, "The Prime Minister will leave this weekend to travel to Europe and Australia for a range of trade, tourism and foreign policy events."
Several paragraphs down, it said, "While this trip has been long-planned, it coincides with the Nato leaders' summit in Madrid." Just a coincidence, you understand. Since she is going to be in the neighbourhood, she will drop in.
And in case you thought collective security was important to a Labour Government, the statement added, "The Nato meeting represents an opportunity to engage with a large number of leaders on a wide range of issues over and above security and defence." Over and above?
Security and defence might not be New Zealand's urgent concerns but Labour is supposed to be a party of altruism. Its heart should be bleeding for the citizens of Hong Kong these days. Who would not want to try to protect the free, prospering, democratic people of Taiwan from the same fate?
Nor should empathy end at the Pacific rim. The countries bordering Russia know what Russian rule means. The few of them not members of Nato, yet - Finland, Ukraine, Moldova – will also be at the summit, with partner status.
It's possible Ukraine's courageous President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, will be there. What issues over and above security would our Prime Minister like to discuss with him if she gets the chance?
Well, Nato's website offers a hint. "The Asia-Pacific partners contribute unique perspectives to Nato discussions on common security challenges, such as cyberspace and climate change," it says. Others are "non-proliferation, civil preparedness and Women, Peace and Security".
I don't imagine those get much attention when Putin and Xi hold a summit, except cyberspace probably. Without liberal democracy you tend not to hear much interest in the others.
Meanwhile, the war has entered a difficult phase. Russia, having failed to take Ukraine's capital and replace its government, has concentrated its immense numbers and firepower on Ukraine's eastern and southern steppes, where long-range artillery is more effective and Russia has made gains.
Even so, its progress is slow considering its advantages. Ukraine continues to put up a determined fight, not just on the defensive but with attempts to drive Russian forces back and deny Putin any territorial reward for his invasion four months ago.
Ukraine's remarkable resistance and the solidarity Nato has found in arming and training its forces has been impressive so far. But wars are seldom won quickly, they usually settle into long, gruelling struggles that can go for years.
That's when the mettle of supporters is tested. The United States and the United Kingdom have been rock solid so far. Boris Johnson, whatever his troubles at home, has been a Titan in this contest, making an early visit to Kyiv and rushing to Helsinki to make a mutual defence commitment with Finland and Sweden as soon as they declared their wish to join Nato, like Ukraine.
But France, Italy and Germany have been flaky, French President Emmanuel Macron even talking negotiations to save Putin from "humiliation". All three seem to be back in line after a trip to Kyiv.
Nuclear weapons haunt the West's response and Putin has given Nato much to discuss on that front too. Never in the Cold War did we hear a leader of the US or the Soviet Union, hint at their use in the way Putin did at the outset of this war. He has forced Nato to make it clear threats like that will not deter the alliance from coming to a member's defence.
I don't imagine our PM will be anywhere a discussion such as that, if there is one. But I hope she meets Zelenskyy. I dare hope she might even make a surprise visit to Kyiv. Seldom has it been more important for democracies to stand together.