Joint Communique of the Fifth Annual Joint Heads of Pacific Security

25 August 2023

Law enforcement, national security, and military leaders, including police, customs, and immigration from across the Pacific, met in Koror, Palau, for the fifth annual Joint Heads of Pacific Security (JHoPS) Meeting from 23-24 August 2023.

Members recognised the history of leaders’ guidance including the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent and the Boe Declaration on Regional Security as their strategic guidance for prioritising security collaboration across agencies and the region.

Members reaffirmed the valuable role and leadership of existing regional security organisations, including the Forum Fisheries Agency, Pacific Fusion Centre, Pacific Security College, Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police, Pacific Immigration Development Community, Oceania Customs Organisation, and the South West Pacific Heads of Maritime Forces.

Members agreed that JHoPS will focus on the areas of cross agency cooperation and coordination between regional security agencies to address multidimensional security challenges.

Members agreed that Palau, as 2023 JHoPS Chair, would bring the collective voice of the region’s security practitioners to Pacific Islands Forum leaders to report and advise on shifting security challenges and jointly recommend regional security solutions.

Members reiterated their commitment to the 2022 Denarau Outcome and agreed to establish an intersessional working group, to further strengthen relationships, solidify trust and reciprocity and to progress outcomes for ratification at the next Meeting, including;

  •  support for the Chair’s engagement with the Pacific Islands Forum
  • a terms of reference or memorandum of understanding to clarify the JHoPS mandate, mission, and governance framework pursuant to Outcome 16 of the Denarau Outcome
  • consideration of a regional treaty framework to enable and enhance the collective ability of security agencies to respond quickly and effectively to regional security challenges, pursuant to Outcome 15 of Denarau Outcome and
  • recommendations for JHoPS delegates on the key areas of focus coming out of the tabletop exercise focusing on regional security challenges, national capacities, and capability gaps.

Members acknowledged the importance of coordination, information sharing, and interoperability and committed to sharing concepts of operations and best practices.

Members reaffirmed the importance of the JHoPS as a forum to enhance cooperation among security partners and to collectively address Pacific operational security challenges and welcomed Papua New Guinea’s planned hosting of the next JHoPS Meeting.

Cook Islands registered their interest in hosting the following JHoPS Meeting.

Members offered their sincere thanks to the Government of Palau for their successful hosting of JHoPS 2023.

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