Strengthening regional ties through the Pacific Islands Forum

Media release
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese
Prime Minister

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese met Pacific Leaders at the 52nd Pacific Islands Forum from 7–9 November in Cook Islands.

The Prime Minister's attendance at the Leaders' Meeting demonstrates Australia's commitment to deepening its engagement in the Pacific and addressing the shared challenges facing us all, including shaping a peaceful, stable and prosperous Pacific, and the impacts of climate change.

The Prime Minister briefed Leaders on the Government's action to reduce Australia's emissions and build our clean energy industries.

Pacific leaders were unified in emphasising the need for Pacific-led and Pacific-focussed solutions to their particular vulnerabilities in relation to climate change.

Recognising that climate change remains the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific, the Prime Minister announced that Australia will make further investments to build the resilience of our Pacific partners.

Australia will contribute at least $350 million in climate infrastructure for the region, including $75 million for a program for off-grid and community scale renewable energy in remote and rural parts of the Pacific.

Prime Minister Albanese also announced that Australia will contribute to the new Pacific Resilience Facility (PRF), a Pacific-built trust fund that will be established to invest in small-scale climate and disaster resilient projects.

Australia will also make a contribution to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the most prominent global climate finance fund, and will be active in advocating to prioritise GCF financing for the Pacific.

While attending the PIF Leaders Meeting, Prime Minister Albanese and the Prime Minister of Tuvalu, The Hon. Kausea Natano, announced a major new bilateral agreement in response to a request from Tuvalu, the Australia –Tuvalu Falepili Union.

The Australia-Tuvalu Falepili Union comprises a bilateral treaty between Tuvalu and Australia, as well as a commitment articulated in a joint leaders' statement to uplift our broader bilateral partnership.

"Falepili" is a Tuvaluan word for the traditional values of good neighbourliness, care and mutual respect.

The Treaty covers three main areas of cooperation: climate change, human mobility and security.

Under the new Treaty:

  • Australia commits to provide assistance to Tuvalu in response to a major natural disaster, health pandemics and military aggression.
  • To allow for effective operation of Australia's security guarantee, both countries commit to mutually agree any partnership, arrangement or engagement with any other State or entity on security and defence-related matters in Tuvalu.
  • And Australia will establish a dedicated intake – known as a special mobility pathway – to allow Tuvaluans to come to Australia to live, work and study. There will be an initial cap of 280 Tuvaluans eligible per year. With a population of just over 11,000 people, Tuvalu is extremely vulnerable to the impact of climate change, especially rising sea levels, and is trying to preserve its culture, traditions and land.

As part of the uplift in our broader bilateral relationship, Australia will support Tuvalu's climate adaptation interests, including additional funding for the Tuvalu Coastal Adaptation Project which will expand Funafuti's land by around 6 per cent, to help Tuvaluans live and thrive at home and preserve their culture.


Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:

"I am honoured to have attended the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' Meeting.

"Australia deeply values our membership of the Pacific Islands Forum, and I thank Cook Islands and Prime Minister the Hon. Mark Brown for being such generous and welcoming hosts.

"We recognise the climate crisis is the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of people in the Pacific.

"Australia is committed to enduring partnerships in the region.

"We have listened to the needs of our Pacific neighbours and are committed to addressing shared challenges in partnership with Forum members.

"I was honoured to sign the Australia-Tuvalu Falepili Union with Prime Minister Natano, in response to Tuvalu's request for a closer relationship between our countries."