Australia will work with our regional partners to establish a Pacific Fusion Centre, to strengthen the ability of Pacific governments to enforce their laws and protect their sovereignty.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Marise Payne announced the new centre during the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru today.

The centre will fuse information from multiple sources, including Australia, to equip Pacific decision makers with the information they need to better identify and respond to security threats, such as illegal fishing, people smuggling and narcotics trafficking.

The initiative follows repeated calls from Pacific leaders for improved information sharing to guide security responses, including in last year’s Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ declaration.

The new Pacific Fusion Centre will provide strategic analysis of information to help strengthen maritime domain awareness and provide security alerts and advice for Pacific security agencies.

The facility will be established in the region in mid-2019 following further consultations with Pacific partners through a concept note and a feasibility study with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

The Centre will complement Australia’s Pacific Maritime Security Program, which is providing 21 new Guardian-class patrol boats to the Pacific over the next five years, and an aerial surveillance package.

We are also establishing, in early 2019, an Australia Pacific Security College, to provide senior-level training, support strategic policy development and strengthen the networks among senior Pacific security officials.

These initiatives reflect Australia’s commitment to implement the new Boe Regional Security Declaration, adopted today by Pacific Island Forum Leaders, as a contemporary platform for closer security collaboration.

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