Australia's step-up in engagement with the Pacific is one of the highest priorities of the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper, launched on 23 November last year.
The White Paper commits Australia to a more ambitious and intensified engagement in the Pacific to support a more resilient region, as one of five central foreign policy goals.
It reaffirms the commitment by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the 2016 Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' meeting in Pohnpei, when he committed to a 'step-change' in Australia's engagement with the Pacific.
It reaffirms Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's announcements, at the 2017 Pacific Island Forum Leaders' Meeting on 8 September in Samoa, of a range of measures to strengthen Australia's engagement with the Pacific, including through:
- stronger partnerships for economic growth
- stronger partnerships for security
- stronger relationships between our people.
Read more: Stepping-up Australia's engagement in the Pacific
Speaking at the launch of the White Paper, Foreign Minister the Hon Julie Bishop MP said Australia aimed to "increase support for a more stable and prosperous Pacific."
"The Government will extend our 'step up' in the Pacific on economic and security issues, including by establishing with our Pacific partners a new Australian Pacific Security College to deliver security and law enforcement training at the leadership level," Ms Bishop said.
The step-up responds to the significant long-term challenges faced by our partners in the Pacific, including: climate change and responding to natural disasters; sustaining economic growth and boosting education, skills and jobs for growing populations; gender equality and recognising the essential role of women in achieving better development outcomes; and the threat of major disease outbreak and tackling transnational crime. Australia's step up in engagement builds on and leverages our development assistance to the region of $1.1 billion in the Pacific in 2017–18.
- ABC Pacific Beat - Interview with Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Australia promotes new Pacific security arrangement, defends climate record, 12 September 2017
- ABC – Interview with Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Pacific Island Leaders Forum Meeting, regional security, Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), Biketawa Plus, 12 September 2017
- ABC Pacific Beat - Interview with Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Pacific Labour Scheme and Seasonal Worker Pilot, 11 September 2017
- Media release by the Prime Minister the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP: 48th Pacific Island Forum, Samoa, 8 September 2017, Apia, Samoa
- Prime Minister the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP: Remarks at the MOU signings—48th Pacific Islands Forum, Samoa, 8 September 2017, Apia, Samoa
- Transcript: Press conference by Prime Minister the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP and Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, 8 September 2017, Apia, Samoa
- Speech by Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon Julie Bishop MP: Australia in the Pacific, 12 August 2017, Suva, Fiji