New Zealand and Australia have announced their joint commitment to partner with Pacific Island countries and support a collective cyber resilience.
This will see an open, free and secure internet that drives economic growth, protects national security and promotes international stability to the Pacific.
The government mentioned the Boe Declaration, which highlighted cyber security as an emerging security challenge for the Pacific region. It also recognised the need to maximise the protections and opportunities for Pacific infrastructure and peoples in the digital age.
“New Zealand’s increased, re-oriented development program recognises the emerging challenges facing the Pacific, and New Zealand is committed to helping address these through its Pacific Reset,” New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters MP said.
NZ’s engagement in the Pacific will include CERT NZ working closely with cyber security teams across the region to build resilience and cyber awareness. This work will support the Pacific Cyber Security Operational Network (PaCSON), a network of government-designated cyber security officials from 14 foundation member countries from the Pacific.
Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator Marise Payne meanwhile announced a $9 million expansion to Australia’s Cyber Cooperation Program, following the launch of a National Cyber Security Centre in Papua New Guinea. This brings Australia’s total investment in cyber cooperation to $38.4 million to 2022.
“We will continue to work with regional partners to strengthen cybercrime prevention, prosecution and cooperation; and enhance cyber incident response capability,” Payne said.