Pacific security leaders have met in Koror, Palau, to enhance information sharing and interoperability while strengthening relationships between partner nations.
Police, law-enforcement, customs, defence and immigration representatives from over 20 nations attended the fifth annual Joint Heads of Pacific Security Meeting (JHoPS).
For the first time at JHoPS, leaders participated in tabletop exercises, enabling them to identify improved ways to share information and enhance cooperation through realistic scenarios. This encouraged leaders to consider better ways to meet Pacific security needs and improve cooperation.
Chief of the Australian Defence Force, General Angus Campbell, AO, DSC, said the meeting enabled leaders to work together in an open and respectful way toward Pacific solutions to Pacific problems.
“The Joint Heads of Pacific Security meeting is approached in ‘the Pacific Way’, with a focus on consensus, respect for sovereignty, and collective action,” General Campbell said.
Covering a broad membership across a range of security agencies, JHoPS is a forum for Pacific security leaders to set shared tactical, operational and strategic objectives.
AFP Deputy Commissioner, Lesa Gale, said JHoPS offered an opportunity to discuss key security challenges and potential solutions for the Pacific.
“Through these discussions, we have enhanced our joint understanding on how to identify the best opportunities to support priority Pacific security needs from within the Pacific family,’’ Deputy Commissioner Gale said.
“The AFP has strong, enduring partnerships across the Pacific, demonstrated through the sharing of resources and capability, to ensure current and future security challenges and needs in the region are met.”
Australian Border Force Commissioner, Michael Outram, said customs and immigration agencies from across the region shared a mutual interest in protecting the fundamentals of a free and prosperous Pacific.
“For us to successfully respond to both traditional and non-traditional security threats in our region requires a coordinated multiagency international response,” Commissioner Outram said.
“The value of this close cooperation and information exchange between our Pacific partners, in terms of how this combats the threats currently faced, simply cannot be underestimated.”
JHoPS Members agreed to progress outcomes focussed on enhancing Pacific security cooperation, through a Joint Communique.
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