The Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) provides the international community with the practical means of cooperating to prevent illicit trafficking in weapons of mass destruction (WMD), their delivery systems and related materials. It aims to impede illicit WMD-related trade to and from states of proliferation concern and terrorist groups. More than 100 countries have endorsed the PSI Statement of Interdiction Principles. The core objectives of the PSI are contained in these Principles, which all participating countries publicly support to complement the objective of UNSC Resolution 1540 of helping prevent WMD proliferation.
A priority for Australia, and all other PSI participants, is to maintain and refine capabilities for interdicting WMD-related trade. Countries participating in PSI activities have developed their maritime, air and ground interdiction capabilities through a program of joint training exercises in Europe, Asia and North America. These exercises are designed to:
- enhance operational responsiveness by testing national interdiction capacities;
- improve mechanisms for conducting joint interdiction operations with other countries;
- bridge differences in training and operational systems and allow policy experts, enforcement agents and operational personnel to learn to work together in a cooperative and collaborative manner.
Australia hosted its fourth PSI exercise, Pacific Protector, in September 2017 as part of the annual Asia-Pacific Exercise Rotation (APER) – an enduring flagship activity of the PSI in the Asia-Pacific. The Exercise involved 450 experts from 21 countries, across four days, taking part in activities, including academic sessions, a table top exercise, a subject matter exchange training program, a live exercise, and demonstrations to facilitate the sharing of intelligence, enhance quick decision-making processes, and deploy capabilities to conduct interdictions to increase the capacity of PSI countries within the Indo-Pacific.
More information on the PSI, including on Exercise Pacific Protector 17, can be found on the PSI website.