Australian foreign minister to visit New Caledonia

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Marise Payne

I will visit New Caledonia from 20 to 21 June to represent Australia at the 11th biennial Ministerial Conference of the Pacific Community (SPC) in Noumea and to meet New Caledonian representatives and French authorities.

Australia is a founding member and the largest donor to the SPC, the largest scientific and technical agency in the Pacific.

It delivers essential services to countries across the region, in fields such as education, agriculture, health, and fisheries science.

SPC is a valued partner for Australia in delivering programs that support strong regional outcomes.

My visit to Noumea, the first by an Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs since 2004, follows my visit as Minister for Defence in May 2018 and will strengthen ties with New Caledonia, and with France in the Pacific.

New Caledonia is now a full member of the Pacific Islands Forum, and Australia supports its deeper integration in the region.

Australia values highly its close relationship with France in the Pacific and beyond, and its significant contribution to regional security and prosperity.

I also look forward to the opportunity to acknowledge outgoing Director-General Dr Colin Tukuitonga for his outstanding six years of service.

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