At the 2016 Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' Meeting in Pohnpei, the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, committed to a 'step-change' in Australia's engagement with the Pacific. At this year's Forum Leaders' Meeting on 8 September in Apia, Samoa, the Prime Minister delivered on that promise, announcing 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
As the Foreign Minister, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, said during a speech in Suva on 12 August 2017, "Together these goals are one of Australia's highest priorities, and will be a central feature of our foreign policy white paper, which will be released later this year".
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