Statement by Australia, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States on the establishment of Blue Pacific Partners (PBP)

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A new initiative for more effective and efficient cooperation in support of Pacific Island priorities

The Pacific Islands region is home to almost a fifth of the Earth’s surface and many of its most pressing challenges, from the climate crisis to the COVID-19 pandemic to growing pressure on the free international order. and open based on rules. It is in this context that the Pacific Islands Forum, the primary driver of regional action, has undertaken to organize its members “into a single collective if we are to meet our increasingly common challenges”.

Like our countries—Australia, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and United States— to continue supporting prosperity, resilience and security in the Pacific, we too must harness our collective strength through closer cooperation. To this end, our governments have dispatched high-level officials to Washington, D.C., on June 23-24, for consultations with Pacific Heads of Mission and other partners, including France, as well as the European Union as an observer. These meetings followed discussions with Pacific partners, including the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat; they are continuing, including with other partners involved in the region. Today, our five countries launched an inclusive and informal mechanism to support Pacific priorities more effectively and efficiently: Blue Pacific Partners (PBP).

This new initiative builds on our longstanding commitment to the region. Australia and New Zealand are part of the region and are members of the Pacific Islands Forum; Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States are the founding partners of the dialogue. Our countries have close people-to-people ties and are long-standing development partners with the Pacific Islands, as evidenced by our $2.1 billion in development assistance for the region. We are united in our common desire to support a region that benefits the people of the Pacific. We are also united in the way we achieve this vision, in accordance with the principles of Pacific regionalism, sovereignty, transparency, accountability and, above all, Pacific island led and guided.

With these principles at their core, Blue Pacific Partners aim to:

  1. Achieve results for the Pacific more effectively and efficiently. Together and individually, our five countries will strengthen our existing efforts to support Pacific priorities, in line with the upcoming Pacific Islands Forum 2050 Strategy for the Pacific Blue Continent. To do this, we will work with Pacific partners. We will map existing projects and plan future projects, seeking to generate resources, eliminate duplication and fill gaps, which will avoid greater burdens and lost opportunities for governments and Pacific people. In parallel, each of our governments will continue to increase the ambition of our individual efforts in the region.
  2. Strengthen Pacific regionalism. The PBP will establish closer links with Pacific governments and with the Pacific Islands Forum, facilitating stronger and more regular engagement with our governments. We will further elevate Pacific regionalism, with a strong and united Pacific Islands Forum at its core, as an essential pillar of the regional architecture and our respective approaches in the region.
  3. Develop opportunities for cooperation between the Pacific and the world. The PBP will encourage and facilitate greater engagement with the Pacific by any other partner who shares Pacific values ​​and aims to work constructively and transparently for the benefit of the peoples of the region. As it develops, the PBP will remain inclusive, informal and open to cooperation with other partners also invested and committed to a partnership with the Pacific Islands. At the global level, the PBP will identify opportunities to expand Pacific participation in international forums.

At each stage, we will be led and guided by the islands of the Pacific. We will seek Pacific input on PBP’s selection of its action lines and flagship projects. In meetings in Washington, including at Blair House, our Pacific governments and heads of mission discussed various areas in which to deepen cooperation, including the climate crisis, connectivity and transportation, maritime security and protection, health , prosperity and education. We commit to continue our dialogue with Pacific governments as well as Pacific-led regional institutions, in particular the Pacific Islands Forum; we will align our work with the outcomes of the upcoming Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in Suva, Fiji. Later this year, the United States intends to invite foreign ministers from partner countries to meet and review our progress.

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