MEDIA RELEASE: Pacific Security Leaders Address Polycrisis at Inaugural Conference in Suva

From left to right: Dr Manu Roosen-Topou, Director General, Forum Fisheries Agency; Professor Dave Peebles, Director, Pacific Security College.

Suva, Fiji – Today marked a significant milestone for the Pacific region as the inaugural Pacific Regional and National Security Conference commenced at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat in Suva.

In a press conference, Professor Dave Peebles, Director of the Pacific Security College at the Australian National University (ANU), and distinguished panellists, outlined the pressing challenges and collaborative efforts defining this historic gathering.

“Prime Minister Rabuka has rightly identified that we are facing a polycrisis. Climate change, challenges to human security, transnational crime, and geopolitical tensions are converging to form some of the greatest challenges in human history, all impacting our Blue Pacific simultaneously.”

Professor Peebles emphasised the significance of the conference, which has brought together 150 security professionals and experts from every member of the Pacific Islands Forum and beyond.

“We have an assembly of national security, law enforcement, legal, fisheries, customs, borders, and foreign affairs officials. The Pacific Security College has had the privilege of collaborating with nine Pacific security organisations to make this possible.”

The term polycrisis, as highlighted by Prime Minister Rabuka, encapsulates the multifaceted and interconnected threats facing the region that include;

  • Climate Change: Posing existential risks to island nations, threatening the very habitability of their homes.
  • Human Security: Encompassing health, economic stability, and the well-being of communities.
  • Transnational Crime: Including the rise in organized crime, trafficking, and cybersecurity threats.
  • Geopolitical Tensions: Increasing global and regional power struggles impacting the stability of the Pacific.

Professor Peebles explained, “We’ll engage in talanoa about the polycrisis before the Blue Pacific and undertake a futures exercise to navigate our path to 2050, in line with the Pacific Islands Forum’s 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.”

“The leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum have given us the timeframe of 2050 in their strategy for our Blue Pacific Continent. Our task is to chart a course that ensures safety, security, and prosperity for the next generation,” Professor Peebles said.

The Pacific Regional and National Security Conference demonstrates the region’s commitment to confronting its shared crises and highlights the Pacific’s unwavering spirit of unity and collective action.

Among the distinguished panellists present were:

  • Manu Tupou-Roosen, Director General of the Forum Fisheries Agency, who is spearheading efforts to safeguard the region’s vital marine resources.
  • Roline Tekon, National Security Advisor for Vanuatu, bringing insights into regional security dynamics and national resilience strategies.
  • Maara Tetava, National Security Director for the Cook Islands, highlighting the importance of collaborative security frameworks in smaller island states.
  • Anna Naupa, previously Deputy Director of the Pacific Fusion Centre, contributing expertise on integrated regional security responses.
  • Alipate Naulivou, Manager of the Security Division in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, representing Fiji’s leadership in hosting and contributing to regional security.


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


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