Call to address, maintain threats to region

Director General for MSG Amena Yauvoli with Minister for Defence and National Security Ratu Inoke Kubuabola during a break at the 2nd MSG Regional Security Strategy Working Group Meeting at Tanoa International in Nadi today. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

FIJI’S Minister for Defense and National Security Ratu Inoke Kubuabola has called on Melanesian leaders to address and properly maintain internal and external threats which could escalate to bigger issues.

Ratu Inoke raised this while noting the sub region’s prosperous development and the vast resources at its disposal during the opening the 2nd MSG Regional Security Strategy (RSS) at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi this morning.

“In this quest to enhance and strengthen our sub regionalism, we have become more prone to both internal and external threats as we in the sub region are the gateway to Asia and the Pacific and if not addressed and properly maintained, could escalate to more bigger issues,” Ratu Inoke said.

The threats or complex and multifaceted security challenges include illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, transnational crime, drug smuggling, human trafficking, cybersecurity challenges, climate change and non-traditional challenges.

“These growing challenges will need a collective, collaborative effort to address and thus the need for an overarching document to address these concerns is warranted in the RSS.”

Ratu Inoke added that it was important for MSG countries to therefore navigate independently and collectively through current and future challenges, and that the RSS document ensures a common platform to safeguard resources, people and all national boundaries of the MSG member countries.

MSG member countries are also in the process of developing their own national security strategies, which the minister commended as a process that would complement the current RSS development.

The two-day meet includes country delegates from Fiji, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and Indonesia, who are working towards a collaborative security strategy for the MSG region.

The meeting however does not include the delegation from Papua New Guinea.

Meanwhile, the MSG plans to deploy a formed police unit of 30 personnel from member countries that will assist the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit this November.





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