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

From left to right: Mr Maara Tetava, National Security Director, Cook Islands; Ms Anna Naupa, former Deputy Director, Pacific Fusion Centre; Dr Manu Roosen-Topou, Director General, Forum Fisheries Agency; Professor Dave Peebles, Director, Pacific Security College; Mrs Roline Tekon, National Security Advisor, Vanuatu; Mr Alipate Naulivou, Manager, Security Division, Ministry of Home Affairs, Fiji.

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 Deputy Director of the Pacific Fusion Centre
  • Mr Alipate Naulivou, Manager of the Security Division in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, in our wonderful host country of Fiji.

They will each be able to reflect on their national and regional perspectives for you.

But even this small group speaks to the breadth and the seniority of the regional security representatives who have gathered in Suva this week.

Friends, I’ll just make some introductory remarks before we turn to these experts.

Prime Minister Rabuka has told us the Blue Pacific is facing a polycrisis.

Climate change.

Challenges to human security.

Transnational crime.


These represent some of the biggest challenges in human history, and these challenges have all come together in the Blue Pacific.

Prime Minister Rabuka is right to define this as a polycrisis.

Given these challenges, how do we protect the future?

How do we look after the next generation?

This is why the Pacific Regional and National Security Conference is taking place in Suva this week, here at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

The Conference has brought together the Pacific security community.

There are 150 security professionals and experts from every member of the Pacific Islands Forum, and beyond.

We have national security, law enforcement, legal, fisheries, customs, borders and foreign affairs officials and experts.

The Pacific Security College which I lead has been honoured to work with nine Pacific security organisations to bring everyone together.

We’ll talanoa about every aspect of the polycrisis before the Blue Pacific.

And we’ll conduct a futures exercise, on how we navigate the voyage between now and 2050.

The leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum have given us that timeframe, in the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.

How do we safely get to 2050?

There are two key questions before the Conference:

  • What are the urgent actions we need to take today to tackle the polycrisis before the Blue Pacific? …and…
  • What are the urgent actions needed to prepare for tomorrow, to protect our children and our grandchildren?

Thank you, please allow me to turn to my friends for their comments.

The ten partners organisations…

  • Forum Fisheries Agency, FFA
  • Oceania Customs Organisation, OCO
  • Pacific Fusion Centre
  • Pacific Immigration Development Community, PIDC
  • Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police, PICP
  • Pacific Islands Forum
  • Pacific Islands Law Officers’ Network
  • Pacific Security College
  • Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, SPREP
  • The University of the South Pacific, USP



Pacific Regional and National Security Conference

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