Today, I met with leaders from across the Pacific for the 51st Pacific Islands virtual Forum.
Leaders agreed to a number of important steps to secure the future of our region.
COVID-19 continues to pose a real challenge and Australia will work alongside our Pacific family to maintain a resilient, sustainable and secure region.
I was pleased to announce that Australia will work with our Pacific family on vaccine certification, to ensure our region can safely reopen to international travel as soon as possible.
Between now and March 2022, Australia will also double the number of Pacific workers in Australia under the Pacific Labour Scheme and the Seasonal Worker Programme, bringing in an extra 12,500 workers.
This will provide increased economic opportunities to the Pacific and benefit Australian businesses who have a huge appreciation for Pacific workers.
Australia also joined the Declaration on Preserving Maritime Zones Against Climate Change-related Sea-Level Rise.
The Declaration is ground-breaking. It will protect the security of all Forum members and I congratulate our Pacific family on this milestone.
Discussions today built on conversations in February this year. Leaders had a productive discussion on membership and maintaining Forum unity, identifying paths for the Forum’s next 50 years.
For 50 years, the Pacific Islands Forum has helped to keep our Pacific family peaceful and secure. The Forum remains the pre-eminent place for regional dialogue.