MEDIA RELEASE: Pacific Regional and National Security Conference underway at Pacific Island Forum Secretariat’s headquarters in Suva.

Suva, Fiji – Leaders, experts, and representatives from across the Pacific are convening at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFs) to address the critical security issues facing our region.

Today, the Pacific Security College officially inaugurated the first Pacific Regional and National Security Conference at the Forum Secretariat’s headquarters in Suva.

In his opening remarks, Forum Secretary General Baron Waqa set the tone for the conference, describing it as a cornerstone event for the region’s collective efforts to ensure peace and security.

“We gather here in these vaunted premises to discuss issues of paramount importance to Pacific peoples. The Pacific Islands Forum was established to safeguard our collective interests, and today, we focus on the core matters of peace and security.”

“Peace and security may seem challenging and confusing at times. However, for Pacific Islanders, as articulated in the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, the vision is clear: a resilient Pacific region characterized by peace, harmony, security, social inclusion, and prosperity, enabling all Pacific peoples to lead free, healthy, and productive lives.”

He reflected on the pivotal 2018 Boe Declaration on Regional Security, which underscores the human element of security.

“While the security of nation-states is always a paramount concern for governments, in the Pacific, the peace and well-being of Pacific peoples must always be at the forefront of our minds, especially in light of the devastating impacts of climate change.”

“As Forum Leaders have reiterated, climate change is the single greatest threat to our security. We must keep this at the forefront of our minds as we work together this week and throughout our efforts at the Forum.”

He highlighted the Forum’s progress in combating climate threats, including the development of the Pacific Resilience Fund and the adoption of world-leading declarations on preserving maritime zones and statehood in the face of sea-level rise.

“These initiatives are crucial as we strive to protect our Blue Pacific Continent from the existential threats posed by climate change. We continue to prioritise climate security, human security, environmental security, cybersecurity, and countering transnational organised crime. Notably, we have launched the Pacific Transnational Crime Disruption Strategy and will soon formalise the Pacific Partnership for Prosperity on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime.”

He also emphasised the importance of enhancing the role of women and girls in peace and security efforts.

“Forum members remain committed to elevating the role of women and girls across all priority areas, recognising their crucial contributions to our collective security and resilience.”

Reflecting on the impact of global conflicts and geopolitical competition, Waqa noted, “The reverberations of international conflicts, from the Russian invasion of Ukraine to tensions in the South China Sea, are felt across the Pacific. Such conflicts exacerbate supply chain disruptions and inflation, making life more challenging for our people. The Pacific values a rules-based international order and peaceful resolution of disputes, as highlighted in the Boe Declaration on Regional Security.”

Stressing the need for transparency and cooperation from the Forum’s 21 Dialogue Partners, SG Waqa said; “Our Dialogue Partners have committed to supporting the peace and security of the Blue Pacific Continent. They must continue to declare their economic, political, and strategic interests transparently, reinforcing our collective pursuit of stability and prosperity.”

Secretary General Waqa expressed optimism for the conference’s outcomes and reiterated the collective resolve of Pacific nations.

“We are stronger together, united by our shared experiences and knowledge. This conference will focus on the critical areas of peace and security where we, as a region, are focusing our attention. Let us work together to build resilience and prosperity for our families, communities, nations, and the entire Pacific region.”

For further information, please contact:

Cheerieann Wilson, tel: 679 7589065 whatsapp: +679 7589065
Caitlin Welch, Pacific Security College, tel: 679 289 5088 whatsapp: +61 452 463 646

For video footage and photos from the Pacific Regional and National Security Conference please contact:

Caitlin Welch Pacific Security College, tel: 679 289 5088 whatsapp: +61 452 463 646

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Stories

Media Releases - 24 Jun 2024

REMARKS: Professor Dave Peebles, Opening remarks at the Pacific Regional National Security Conference press conference, Monday 24 June

Good morning, thank you all for joining us, we’re grateful for your time. Please allow me to introduce my friends: Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen, the Director General of the Forum Fisheries Agency Mrs Roline Tekon, the National Security Advisor for Vanuatu Mr Maara Tetava, the National Security Director for Cook Islands Ms Anna Naupa, previously the…

Media Releases - 23 Jun 2024

MEDIA RELEASE: Pacific security community gathers to map polycrisis and path to 2050

  22 June 2024, Suva – Pacific security community representatives will gather in Suva next week for the Pacific Regional and National Security Conference (PRNSC), an important forum to address the region’s pressing security challenges. The inaugural conference will map the current and future regional security threats and support the implementation of the 2050 Strategy…