Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, visited Solomon Islands on 14 June 2018 to discuss the strengthening of Australia’s security partnership with the Solomon Islands Government.
Minister Payne met with the Hon Manasseh Sogavare, Acting Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, and Commissioner Matthew Varley, Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF).
Minister Payne said Australia’s strong security partnership with Solomon Islands had moved into a new phase following the conclusion of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands last year.
“The entry into force of the new bilateral security treaty this week is another demonstration of our deepening security cooperation,” Minister Payne said.
Minister Payne also visited the RSIPF Maritime Division and the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) to discuss the Pacific Maritime Security Program (PMSP).
Minister Payne said she was pleased to discuss Australia’s enduring support to Solomon Islands’ through the two Pacific Patrol Boats.
“Solomon Islands’ participation in the follow-on PMSP will ensure Solomon Islands has a versatile maritime capability to assist with remote security and outer island deployments,” Minister Payne said.
Minister Payne also participated in a Women in Leadership function while in Honiara. The function was an opportunity to encourage Solomon Islands women to seek leadership positions across government, justice and policing, business and civil society, and to consider pursing elected office as a career opportunity.
Minister Payne said she was pleased to deliver the keynote address on her career experience to a dynamic group of Solomon Islands women.
“Improving the participation of women in political leadership and empowering women and girls across society is also critical to maintaining regional security and stability,” Minister Payne said.