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Ratu Inoke Proposes Biketawa Plus After Regional, Global Security Trends

Ratu Inoke Proposes Biketawa Plus After Regional, Global Security Trends
Minister for Defence and National Security, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola (left), and Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop during the Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting in Suva on 11 August 2017. Photo: Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
August 12
11:04 2017

Minister for Defence and National Security Ratu Inoke Kubuabola on Friday declared his support for the Biketawa Plus.

He said in light of the new regional and global security trends, the Biketawa Declaration should be changed to Biketawa Plus.

The Biketawa Declaration was agreed by Pacific Islands Forum leaders in Kiribati in October 2000 in the wake of George Speight’s coup and ethnic tensions in the Solomons.

Speaking on the issue of regional political and environmental security at the Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers meeting in Suva, Ratu Inoke commended the successful regional security cooperation initiatives as one of the many commendable hallmarks of their co-operation.

“I wish to lend support to the idea of a Biketawa Plus. I believe that an expansion of the Biketawa Declaration to Biketawa Plus is an acknowledgement of the emergence of new global trends that is posing new and serious threats to peace, security and prosperity of our Pacific peoples and communities,” Ratu Inoke said.

The meeting was chaired by Samoa’s Deputy Prime Minister, Naomi Mata’afa. She said the sheer fact of our geography placed us at the centre of global politics and threats.

The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop and New Zealand’s Foreign Minister, Gerry Brownlee, attended the meeting.

Ratu Inoke touched on tense global and regional security situations such as the more frequent nuclear testing being conducted in North Korea, increasing incidences of human trafficking within the region and the growing threat of terrorist factions seeking refuge in the region.

Ratu Inoke said other contemporary security issues included the growing incidence of illegal fishing vessels.

He added the rethink of the current security co-operation arrangement under the Biketawa Declaration would enable the region to continually reflect and update on the expanded concept of security beyond defence and law and order interventions.

“Moreover, as we live in a disaster prone sub-region, may I prompt the idea of situating a regional approach to Disasters in our approach to a revamped ‘Biketawa Plus’.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun. com.fj

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