New Zealand hosts conventional weapons conference

New Zealand is hosting 14 Pacific countries at the Pacific Conference on Conventional Weapons Treaties in Auckland from 12 to 14 February. New Zealand’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Fletcher Tabuteau, formally welcomed delegates to the Conference with a reception in Auckland. “The Conference provides an opportunity to reinforce the importance our region places on enhancing human security and protecting our peoples from harm,” said Mr Tabuteau. “It further reaffirms the role that the Pacific can play in protecting and strengthening global norms and in advancing the scope and span…

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Forging ties in Tonga

Since the 1960s, Australia has undertaken a range of capacity-building and engagement activities in the South Pacific and South East Asia under the Defence Cooperation Program. The centrepiece of Australia’s defence engagement in the South Pacific is the Pacific Patrol Boat Program. Lieutenant Commander Paul Ryan has been presiding over significant improvements in Tonga’s Masefield Navy Base, As well as carrying out his usual duties as a maritime surveillance adviser. Lieutenant Commander Ryan, who has been in Tonga for eight months, said the improvements were being carried out to support…

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