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On 6 November 2019 Vanuatu’s Minister of Internal Affairs, the Hon. Andrew Napuat spoke about Vanuatu’s first National Security Strategy at a seminar hosted by the ANU Department of Pacific Affairs. Describing how Australia and Vanuatu are like family who stick together in times of both peace and need, the minister explained how one of the main instruments behind the security strategy is the Boe Declaration on Regional Security, signed by Pacific Island nations at the Pacific Islands Forum in September 2018.
He noted how this declaration expands on traditional ideas of security, and that the non-traditional forms of security, such as human security, environmental security, transnational crime, cyber security and climate change, are all part of Vanuatu’s security challenges in a rapidly changing security environment.
The minister stressed that Vanuatu seeks to help strengthen regional cooperation and joins the ‘collective voice of Pacific peoples [who recognise] that climate change remains the greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of its people’. He noted that the displacement of people results in citizens struggling to provide for their families, which in turn can affect political and leadership security if the needs of those people are not met.
He mentioned that Vanuatu has been working with Australia on Vanuatu’s National Security Strategy, which incorporates two strands: first, the framework, objectives, current trends and long term threats; and second, the ten pillars of security and the main directions to safeguard security in Vanuatu. The minister also stressed the importance of Vanuatu’s development partners and people to people links as Vanuatu addresses increased security threats.
An audio recording of the speech is available here.