Pacific Defence ministers talk climate change

Rodrigo Penaranda (left) with Minister of National Defence Chile Alberto Espina Otero and Inia Seruiratu during a break at the South Pacific Defence Ministers Meeting at Westin Denarau in Nadi. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

SECURITY implications associated with climate change was one of the main topics on day one of the fourth South Pacific Defence Ministers Meeting (SPDMM) in Nadi yesterday.

While opening the meeting, Fiji Defence Minister Inia Seruiratu highlighted the important link between climate change and security.

“Pacific leaders in 2018 forged a new regional security arrangement recognising climate change as the single greatest non-traditional threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the people of the Pacific,” he said.

“This is an important step forward for our region in the fight against climate change and the ball is now in our court here at the SPDMM to be able to provide strategic leadership and guidance to the climate change and security nexus of our region.”

Mr Seruiratu said regional partnerships between member countries had also been vital in the continued protection of each country and addressing regional challenges.

“I would like to acknowledge the outcomes of the 2017 SPDMM, particularly the reaffirmed enduring importance of security and defence to the South Pacific which provides for the continued regional stability and prosperity of our region.”

The meeting will end today with the regional leaders expected to release a communique of shared views and the way forward for SPDMM members.

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