14 May 2003

Australia commits more aid to the Pacific

5:52 pm on 14 May 2003

Australia is to establish a Peace and Security Fund to deal with crime, terrorism and trans national crime in the Pacific.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says the Fund will allow Australia to provide flexible and targeted assistance to address needs in post-conflict societies such as Solomon Islands.

In a statement, Mr Downer says Australia is committed to providing long term assistance to the Pacific and its goal is to achieve the maximum possible degree of self reliance.

He says to achieve this Australia has a new Pacific strategy covering the next four years.

Mr Downer says this will focus on such things as strong support for economic reform and strengthening governance, support for law and justice and backing for democratic institutions and conflict resolution.