Senior Defence officials will travel to Fiji this week to take part in the South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting (SPDMM) in Nadi on 9 May 2019.
Secretary of Defence, Mr Greg Moriarty, will represent the Minister for Defence at this year’s SPDMM. The Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell AO, DSC, will also attend a separate Chiefs of Defence Meeting.
The SPDMM is a key forum for regional leaders to discuss shared security challenges and enhance coordination on regional defence issues. The meeting is a unique opportunity to identify and progress regional priorities and cooperation to support defence engagement in the South Pacific.
SPDMM recognises that maintaining interoperability and cooperation between regional defence forces supports stability in the region. Each year, members review and endorse a collaborative multilateral exercise framework to align cooperative efforts in maritime security, stabilisation and peacekeeping operations, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
The meeting includes government representatives from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, New Zealand, France, Chile and Australia. The United Kingdom and United States will take part as observers.
While in Fiji, Secretary Moriarty and General Campbell will also meet with senior officials to discuss regional security, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief activities, peacekeeping, and the coordination of military activities across the Pacific.
Secretary Moriarty also travelled to Vanuatu where he met with senior government officials to discuss the bilateral security relationship and Australia’s enhanced regional engagement. He visited Defence Cooperation Program-sponsored activities at Cook Barracks and Mala Base, where the Australian-gifted Pacific Patrol Boat is based.