SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

MEDIA RELEASE

6 September 2018

PACIFIC ISLANDS FORUM DECLARATION

Labor welcomes Australia’s decision to sign the Pacific Islands Forum’s Communique and Boe Declaration committing member states to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Labor strongly supports the declaration and its expanded concept of security, which includes an emphasis on people’s rights, health and prosperity, resource security, transnational crime, and cyber.

The Declaration makes clear that Pacific island nations regard climate change as their greatest area of concern.

“We reaffirm that climate change remains the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific and our commitment to progress the implementation of the Paris Agreement”

It is now essential Mr Morrison shows Pacific island states that Australia’s support for the declaration is more than just words, by committing to genuine action on climate change to meet Australia’s Paris targets.

After snubbing the region’s pre-eminent forum in one of his first acts as Prime Minister, Mr Morrison must now show he is listening to what Pacific island leaders are telling him is their most pressing security issue.

Unfortunately, for the past five years all they have seen from Australia is a succession of Liberal governments so bitterly divided they have been unable to agree on any climate change policy.

These divisions and the turmoil within the Government are badly damaging Australia’s standing in the region and Mr Morrison must now make clear this agreement is too important for Australia, and the region, to be wrecked by the Liberal Party’s ongoing internal divisions.

Labor believes the Pacific is core business for Australian foreign policy. To show true leadership in the region, we need to demonstrate that we understand and support the region’s challenges.

In Government Labor will work in partnership with Pacific island states to contribute to the security and prosperity of the entire region.

Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra.