New college to strengthen Pacific security

12 August 2019

The new College draws heavily on 70 years of deep Pacific expertise at ANU and networks in the region.

A new specialist college at The ANU will support security officials across the Pacific.

The Australia Pacific Security College (APSC) was announced by Foreign Minister Marise Payne on Saturday.

It will be formally launched in September.

The APSC will support implementation of the Boe Declaration on Regional Security by enhancing the capacity of officials from Pacific agencies to deal with a broad range of security issues.

This includes climate, resource, human and traditional security challenges.

Professor Michael Wesley, Dean of the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, said the APSC had been designed in close consultation with Pacific Island nations and ongoing consultation would be the College's hallmark.

"The Pacific faces a broad range of security challenges," Professor Wesley said.

"It is the frontline in climate change which will have major repercussions for the security of whole nations.

"But Pacific Island nations also want to respond to other security issues that have both regional and national dimensions. These issues include transnational crime, cybersecurity and human security issues - just to name a few.

"These are no small challenges, and it is imperative we work together to meet them head on. The APSC provides a venue where the countries of the Pacific can collaborate and learn from each other.

"The College will respect the sovereignty of Pacific Island governments and work closely with them to identify training requirements.

"And it will draw on and share the wealth of understanding and existing expertise from across the region to strengthen our cooperative efforts. ANU will work in collaboration with regional training institutions whenever possible."

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt said the College draws heavily on The Australian National University's 70 years of deep Pacific expertise and networks in the region.

"ANU continues to be one of the world's leading centres for the study of Asia and the Pacific," Professor Schmidt said.

"One of the founding principles of the University was to increase and strengthen Australia's understanding of and connections with the region.

"As Australia's national university we have a special obligation and mission to engage with the Pacific - a region that has had a profound influence on our past and will play a major role in our future.

"This College is another powerful example of how our researchers and teachers drive Australia's work with the Pacific on some of the region's biggest and most pressing challenges.

"I thank the Foreign Minister Marise Payne and the Australian Government for the honour of hosting the Australia Pacific Security College at ANU, and look forward to seeing the significant contribution it makes."