Pacific Security Snapshot | 28 March 2024


➣ Heavy rains, floods, landslides and earthquakes batter the region

➣ Pacific submissions to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on climate change responsibility

➣ Elections across the Pacific prompting changes to diplomatic relations and security arrangements

➣ Challenges for women in politics

Climate Security 

Lives have been lost in PNG after a series of floods, landslides and an earthquake. In Fiji, heavy rain and flash flood warnings have caused school closures and stay-at-home orders for non-essential civil servants.

The deadline for state submissions to historic proceedings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which will clarify the legal responsibilities required in response to climate change, is closed this month. Pacific States have been key instigators of the case and have made submissions that detail the social, ecological, political and economic impacts of the climate crisis on their communities.

Ahead of COP29 meetings, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) has said 2024 is a critical year for the climate, calling for increased efforts to reduce global emissions before 2025.

Recently published research finds that traditional ecological knowledge for climate resilience should play a more significant role in sustaining Pacific Island communities in the future.


The shifting nature of geopolitical ties is again a focus point as elections take place across the region. Ahead of the April elections, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is campaigning for tightened diplomatic relations with China. Meanwhile, Tuvalu received a visit from Taiwan’s deputy foreign minister following the recently announced establishment of diplomatic relations between Tuvalu and Taiwan. Tuvalu’s new prime minister, Feleti Teo, continues to talk through details of the Falepili Union with Australia. In the background of these evolving partnerships, ideas of the Blue Pacific as an “Ocean of Peace” continue to be discussed.


Fiji has restored its policing cooperation deal with China. In addition to enabling the sharing of intelligence and the supply of equipment, the deal allows for Fijian police officers to receive training in China, and for Chinese police officers to work within the Fijian police force.

Approximately 300 police personnel from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and China will be deployed to Solomon Islands to provide support for the scheduled April elections.

The former deputy prime minister of the Cook Islands has been found guilty of fraud charges and will spend 18 months in jail. The news comes after the former prime minister of Fiji, Frank Bainimarama, was found guilty of attempting to pervert the course for justice for his interference in a 2018 police investigation.


Recent events in Fiji and the Solomon Islands involving female politicians have drawn attention to the representation of women in politics and the standards female politicians must face.

Representatives from PIF nations attended the 68th annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68) from 11-22 March to insert Pacific priorities into the discussions.

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