Joint media release:
- The Hon Alex Hawke MP, Assistant Defence Minister and Minister for International Development and the Pacific
Australia has delivered the first of more than 30 planned virtual conferencing systems to our partner security agencies across the Pacific, beginning with Vanuatu and Fiji.
The systems will enable regional security leaders to participate in the virtual Joint Heads of Pacific Security (JHoPS) event in late 2020, as well as ongoing engagement, training and responses to regional situations including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the initiative demonstrates how Australia is working closely with our neighbours during the COVID-19 recovery phase to enable meaningful engagement.
“Defence has been closely engaged with our partners in the Southwest Pacific region throughout the COVID-19 response,” Minister Reynolds said.
“We are delivering these virtual conferencing systems to our Pacific Island partners to enable security leaders and agencies to remain connected, while we cannot physically be together.
“These simple and reliable virtual conferencing systems will support discussions on responding to the collective challenge of COVID-19, as well as collaborative approaches to regional matters.”
Assistant Defence Minister and Minister for International Development and the Pacific Alex Hawke said Australia continues to work closely with the Pacific community on our shared security interests notwithstanding challenges including COVID-19.
“Australia is as committed as ever to supporting the security community across our Pacific family. The JHoPS is a great example of regional security leaders working together for peace and prosperity in the Pacific and this investment further enables that work,” Minister Hawke said.
The Microsoft Surface Hub virtual conferencing systems are being delivered over the coming months through a combination of Air Force, humanitarian corridor and existing commercial flights.
The systems will also be delivered to Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Palau, Timor-Leste, Kiribati, Cook Islands, Federal States of Micronesia, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Niue and Nauru.
Imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20202123.