Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee, on behalf of the South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting, has issued a Joint Communique agreeing on key areas to collaborate and coordinate.

“It was a very successful meeting, and demonstrated how New Zealand can work closely with our South Pacific neighbours to tackle the defence and security challenges for our region,” Mr Brownlee says.

“We reached agreement on a number of important areas for action.

“These include a humanitarian assistance and disaster network, building up our future young and women defence leaders, a maritime security forum, and further peacekeeping cooperation and joint military exercises.

“These achievements are only made possible by the cooperative spirit of my Pacific colleagues,” Mr Brownlee says.

The next South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting, which includes Australia, Chile, Fiji, France, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tonga, will be hosted by Fiji in 2019.

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