The governments of the Republic of Vanuatu and Australia announced they are creating a Pacific Fusion Centre permanently in Port Vila. The Pacific Fusion Centre will build regional capacity to respond to common security priorities identified in the 2018 Boe Declaration on Regional Security. An interim centre has been operating in Canberra since September 2019, hosting 21 analysts from 14 Pacific Island Forum countries on short-term secondments.
The Pacific Fusion Centre was established to provide practical support and expertise to equip Pacific decision-makers with timely, accurate information to respond to security challenges common to the region, including climate change, illegal fishing, drug smuggling, human trafficking and disinformation.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women Marise Payne said the centre fuses information from multiple sources, including Australia, to provide up-to-date analysis and assessments on emerging security issues. “Most recently, the centre has pivoted to support the COVID-19 response. It has acted as a reliable source of information for Pacific governments on pandemic developments, including advising on emerging issues such as countering disinformation, ensuring food security, and managing border security,” Payne said.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade Marc Ati welcomed the decision for Vanuatu to host the centre, and expressed Vanuatu’s ongoing commitment to Pacific regionalism and principles of cooperation. “Having recently launched its National Security Strategy, Vanuatu looks forward to working with Australia to establish the Pacific Fusion Centre, to complement and bolster existing regional security architecture; and to welcoming security analysts from across the Pacific once the Centre is established in 2021,” Ati said.