Occasional Papers

Strengthening Australia’s Relations with Pacific Island States

This paper articulates a long-term strategic goal for the Pacific region, recommends a strategic initiative in each of Australia’s current ‘Step-Up’ policy areas of economic development, security, and climate change, and touches briefly on a number of additional initiatives intended to address the mutual needs of Australia and island states.

The paper incorporates the content of submissions to the Joint Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (JSCFADT) Sub-Committees on Foreign Affairs and Aid and on Defence, for their inquiries into Australia’s relationships in the Pacific, and a submission to the recent Independent Review of Australia’s International Development Assistance.

I provide a statistical overview for the region in Table 1.

For clarity, in this paper the Pacific region in question is the area covered by Pacific Island Forum (PIF), and ‘island states’ and regional ‘members’ are the Members thereof.

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