Travel to New Caledonia for Pacific Defence Ministers' meeting

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Related ministers and contacts

The Hon Richard Marles MP

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Defence

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02 6277 7800

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4 December 2023

This week, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, the Hon Richard Marles MP, will travel to New Caledonia to participate in the annual South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting (SPDMM), to be hosted by France.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of this key regional defence forum at which ministers discuss existing and emerging security challenges, and deepen military to military cooperation in the Southwest Pacific. 

At this year’s meeting, ministers will reflect on the impressive record of Pacific-led responses to Pacific security challenges and discuss ways to further refine regional response mechanisms and enhance interoperability, coordination and the exchange of information. 

While in Noumea, Deputy Prime Minister Marles will hold bilateral meetings with SPDMM nations, including the host, the Hon Sebastien Lecornu, Minister of the Armed Forces of France, to discuss Australia and France’s growing defence relationship.

The Members of the SPDMM include Australia, Chile, Fiji, France, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Tonga. The United States, United Kingdom and Japan are observers.

Quotes attributable to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, the Hon Richard Marles MP:

“I look forward to participating in my second SPDMM. Through this forum the militaries of the Pacific advance practical initiatives to enhance cooperation and ensure we are positioned to respond effectively to common regional security challenges together.

“When we collaborate, share information and tackle shared challenges together, we are better able to build resilience, improve stability and ensure prosperity across the Pacific – our shared region.”

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