March 18, 2016

Australian and Papua New Guinean Defence Chiefs address future Pacific leaders in Port Moresby

Australia’s Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin and the Commander of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force, Brigadier-General Gilbert Toropo addressed 30 young leaders at the inaugural Future Leaders Summit on Security in the South Pacific in Port Moresby today.
The Future Leaders Summit is an initiative of the 2015 South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting, also held in Port Moresby, with participants from military forces and government security agencies from PNG, Fiji, New Zealand, Tonga, France, Chile, the United States and Australia, as well as the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency.
Air Chief Marshal Binskin highlighted the shared interest in a secure and prosperous South Pacific region.
“A secure and prosperous South Pacific depends on trust and partnership between our countries. No nation can achieve its security objectives by itself,” said Air Chief Marshal Binskin.
The Summit, jointly delivered by the PNGDF and Australian Civil-Military Centre, highlighted the importance of effective multi-agency cooperation, barriers to collaboration and enhancing whole-of-government engagement.
Brigadier-General Toropo noted that the objective of the Summit was to bring together the region’s future generation of leaders to discuss how different government agencies can work cooperatively to resolve mutual defence and security issues.
“Our region faces many threats which require different countries and government agencies to work together, whether in response to natural disasters, deploying on regional peacekeeping missions, combating transnational crime and terrorism or maritime security.”
“With APEC 2018 around the corner, it is more important than ever that the different arms of government work collaboratively - it is only by working in unison that we can solve these complex issues,” said Brigadier-General Toropo.
“In the South Pacific, multi-agency security cooperation will mean building a more collaborative culture that takes advantage of the relative strengths of different organisations,” said Air Chief Marshal Binksin.
The Summit also addressed the critical leadership role women play in peace and security. Many of the Summit participants were women and discussions focused on how greater female representation in security forces contributes to overall capability.
“Australia strongly believes in the importance of a gender-inclusive approach to conflict resolution, peace building and security more broadly. Women have a critical role to play in these arenas, and we do ourselves a disservice when we fail to take measures that enable their full participation,” said Air Chief Marshal Binksin.
The Summit was delivered with support from Australia under the Defence Cooperation Program.