Ministry of Defence co-hosts Women, Peace and Security Summit with Samoa

13/09/2019 News

Samoa and New Zealand co-hosted the inaugural Women, Peace and Security Summit in Apia, 22-23 August 2019 to promote the visibility and implementation of the global Women, Peace and Security agenda in the Pacific region.

The event was a Ministry of Defence initiative, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which provided funding through the Pacific Security Fund, the New Zealand Defence Force and New Zealand Police.

The Summit opened with key note addresses from co-hosts, Samoan Prime Minister Hon Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and Hon Carmel Sepuloni, New Zealand Minister for Social Development and Disability Issues and Associate Minister for Pacific Peoples and Arts, Culture and Heritage, on behalf of Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand’s Minister of Defence.

The event was attended by 150 participants, including political leaders, civilians, police and military personnel (army, navy, air force), as well as civil society and youth representatives and academics.  The following 24 countries were represented: Australia, Canada, Chile, Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, France, French Polynesia, Japan, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Key speakers included Dame Meg Taylor, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Hon Fiame Naomi Mataafa, Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa and Simona Marinescu, Head Resident Coordinator of the United Nations.

During the event, New Zealand Defence also launched the Pacific Defence Gender Network, announced by Minister of Defence Hon Ron Mark on 22 August 2019. The Minister's annoucment is available from the Beehive website: link) (external link).

The Summit Report(external link) records high level outcomes that will help to inform the development of regional frameworks on Women, Peace and Security.