Pacific leaders reject military focus, prioritize climate security

May 18, 2024 7:46 am

[File Photo]

The region is focused on addressing climate and economic security, says Pacific Islands Forum Chair Mark Brown.

He made the comments in response to questions about whether the Pacific should be concerned about New Zealand joining AUKUS.

AUKUS, an alliance between Australia, the UK, and the US, aims to enhance defense cooperation, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.

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However, Brown highlighted that for Pacific Island countries, security revolves around climate resilience and economic stability rather than military endeavours.

“National security for us is climate security and economic security, not so much military security.”

Brown reiterated the region’s stance, emphasizing the need for investment in infrastructure and resilience against climate change impacts.

He points out that while small island economies bear the brunt of climate change, major emitters like the G20 countries shoulder the responsibility.

Brown stressed the importance of financial support in the form of grants and concessional finance to address climate impacts. He also criticized the moral dilemma of borrowing from countries contributing to climate change.

The AUKUS alliance has sparked discussions and concerns among Pacific Island countries, with leaders emphasizing the region’s priorities of climate resilience and economic stability over military security.