Today I hosted the inaugural Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting (the Meeting) – an opportunity to strengthen our cooperation in preparing for and responding to natural disasters that frequently occur in our region – with representatives from 15 Pacific Island nations.

As a result of today’s meeting, we will promote faster and better coordinated responses by improving pre-positioning of emergency supplies and investing in multi‑hazard early warning systems.

We have committed to strengthening a pool of Pacific-based disaster management experts in the region to assist with nationally-led planning and response efforts.

We will also identify ways to partner more effectively with the private sector throughout the disaster management cycle, from quickly re-establishing telecommunications and assisting in the provision of food and logistics, to supporting the rapid recovery of markets.

The Meeting also considered ways to improve our international engagement. Foreign Ministers play an important role in advancing forum members’ interests and we propose to convene annually to consider the broad range of regional and international issues facing the Pacific Islands.

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