Geopolitical conflicts threaten Pacific peace, Waqa warns

Geopolitical conflicts threaten Pacific peace, Waqa warns

Pacific Conflicts

Baron Waqa, the new Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, warned officials at a regional security conference in Suva not to let geopolitical competition disrupt peace in the region. He emphasized that geopolitical maneuvering means nothing to Pacific peoples facing immediate threats like cyclones and rising sea levels. “Our focus is on building resilience, peace, and prosperity for our families, communities, nations, and our region,” Waqa stated.

He also cautioned against foreign powers using the Pacific as a battleground for their conflicts. He highlighted the commitment of 21 dialogue partners to support peace and security in the Blue Pacific Continent. Waqa stressed the importance of prioritizing the human element of security in the Pacific, with climate change being the single greatest threat to the peace and security of Pacific peoples.

Geopolitical tension impacts Pacific stability

He noted that the Pacific Islands Forum is making significant progress toward climate security goals, mainly through developing the Pacific Resilience Fund, which has garnered over $100 million in support.

The Boe Declaration on Regional Security and its Action Plan continues to guide the forum’s prioritization of peace and security work, including climate security, human security, environmental security, cybersecurity, and countering transnational organized crime. Waqa mentioned recent initiatives such as the Pacific Transnational Crime Disruption Strategy and the forthcoming Pacific Partnership for Prosperity on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime, which address pressing issues like drug-related problems and cyberattacks.

Waqa also emphasized the forum’s commitment to enhancing the role of women and girls in all their diversity across priority peace and security areas. He concluded by stating that these are the areas where forum member countries focus their attention.

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