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Australia to reprioritize Pacific engagement

November 9, 2018 3:44 am

Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison says his government will step up and take their engagement with the Pacific to a new level.

In a statement released this afternoon, Morrison says a new package of security, economic, diplomatic and people to people initiatives will be developed that builds on the strong partnerships in the Pacific.

Prime Minister Morrison goes on to say that according to their 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper, the stability and economic progress of the Pacific region is of fundamental importance that no single country can tackle on its own.

To this end, the recent agreement with Fiji to redevelop the Blackrock Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Camp into a regional hub for police and peacekeeping training and pre-deployment preparation aims to make in-roads in this area.

This would also be in line with the Boe Declaration adopted by Pacific Leaders in September at the Pacific Islands Forum to enhance security cooperation in the region.

He highlights they will have a new Pacific faculty at the Australian Institute of Police Management that will train the next generation of police leadership in the Pacific.

In addition, Morrison says beyond security and economic cooperation, they will fund a new grants program – the Australia Pacific Sports Linkages Program – to strengthen sports linkages between Australia and the Pacific.

The Australian Prime Minister reiterating that their commitment to the Pacific is strong and enduring and these initiatives highlight that they have listened and are working closely with their Pacific partners.