Australia’s new Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator Penny Wong, is currently in Fiji to strengthen their Vuvale partnership and to discuss how they can best secure the region and help build a stronger Pacific family.
In a statement, Senator Wong said: “The visit, in my first week as Foreign Minister, demonstrates the importance we place on our relationship with Fiji and on our Pacific engagement.
“Australia will listen to our Pacific partners as we work together to face our shared challenges and achieve our shared goals – including tackling climate change, pandemic recovery, economic development and regional security.
“I will meet the Hon Frank Bainimarama, Fiji's Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, as well as other senior ministers and Fijian women leaders, ahead of next month's Pacific Islands Forum Women Leaders meeting.
“I will also meet Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Henry Puna, and deliver a speech at the Forum Secretariat on the new energy and commitments Australia is making to play our part in strengthening our Pacific family.
“These commitments include taking real action on climate change at home and with our region, as well as increased development assistance and security cooperation, and reforming and expanding our Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme.
“I look forward to sharing our ideas on how we seek to bring together Australia's defence, strategic, diplomatic and economic capabilities to support our region’s priorities.”