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NZ to host Pacific counter-terrorism meeting

14 April 2004 Media Statement

New Zealand to host Pacific counter-terrorism meeting

New Zealand will host a counter-terrorism meeting for Pacific Island Forum members next month, Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today.

“The Pacific Roundtable on Counter-Terrorism is an opportunity for all Forum states to discuss the implications of the upsurge in terrorism from 11 September 2001, any difficulties faced in meeting our counter-terrorism obligations, and the assistance available to small states from international sources.

“The terrorist strikes of 11 September 2001, the outrage of the Bali and other bombings, including those in Madrid last month, have caused states to focus on how they can contribute to counter-terrorism efforts.

“International counter-terrorism obligations, including United Nations requirements which prohibit any form of support for terrorism, affect all countries.

“States need to comply with rules aimed at cutting off the flow of funds to terrorists and they need to ratify the twelve United Nations anti-terrorism conventions. A number of new obligations will be imposed on trade and transport in the near future.

“The new obligations include International Maritime Organisation regulations on shipping to be implemented by mid-year, and International Civil Aviation Organisation cargo screening rules which need to be put in place by the beginning of 2006.”

All countries face economic risks if they fail to comply with these measures, Helen Clark said.

“The Roundtable will be funded from the Government’s Pacific Security Fund, which aims to contribute to strengthening security in the region.

“Senior policy-makers from the Forum and observers from other regional partners and international organisations will attend the meeting, which will be held in Wellington from 10-12 May. Officials will discuss the region’s counter-terrorism obligations and the assistance available to help in meeting these demands.

“The security of the Pacific is one of four main Pacific Islands Forum goals identified by Leaders at their Special Retreat in Auckland on last week. The outcome of next month’s Roundtable will be fed into the annual Forum Leaders’ Meeting, to be hosted by Samoa in August,” Helen Clark said.

PACIFIC SECURITY FUND: Explanatory note

Background:

The Pacific Security Fund, coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is an interagency pool of money drawn on by Government departments and agencies to advance or protect New Zealand's security interests by reducing risks from threats arising in or operating through Pacific Island Countries.

The Pacific Security Fund was approved by Cabinet in September 2003 [CAB Min (03) 13/9 (26)], with initial funds of NZ$2 million for the year 2003/2004. NZ$3 million is being sought for 2004/2005.

Projects under the Fund are considered in light of the Pacific Security Strategy, and its linked Risk Management Framework. Recommendations for projects are agreed by the interdepartmental Pacific Security Coordinating Committee. MFAT manages the fund on a day-to-day basis.

The Pacific Security Fund complements Departments' routine engagement with Pacific partners. It also works alongside and complements the New Zealand Agency for International Development's work in the Pacific.


What kinds of activities are eligible?

Cabinet noted that the Fund would be used for one-off or contingency activities in the Pacific. It would fund initiatives that would not generally fit within NZAID's policy framework or priorities, and which could not "generally" be funded from agency baselines. The Fund can also be used for 'pilot" projects or to provide seed funding for longer-term projects.


What information is needed in an application?

The first point of contact for this fund is the Pacific Security Coordinator in Pacific Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Department or Agency should submit a detailed project proposal. Guidelines for these proposals are given in the attached sheet. The proposal needs to include a work plan and a budget.

Departments or agencies should have no expectation that if they embark on work underpinning a project proposal then that proposal will be funded. No funding guarantees can be given as some proposal (no matter how good they are) may either never be funded or have funding effectively deferred into future years because of the prioritisation process under taken by the Committee.

However, this does not preclude departments or agencies bidding for funding to develop a proposal if they are worried about the level of costs incurred before potential approval is given.


How are applications assessed?

Ideas for projects will be considered by the Pacific Security Coordinating Committee. Detailed project proposals are assessed by the Committee against the Pacific Security Strategy and its associated Risk Management Framework.

During the preparation of detailed project proposals, an independent evaluator will assist Departments and Agencies ensure good project design. The evaluator's comments will also be available to the Committee.

The Pacific Security Coordinating Committee will recommend projects for approval. Final approval is given by Cabinet, once the recommendation has been considered by ERD.


What are the key factors in determining a good project?

- Clear identification of the objectives, which are in line with the Pacific Security Strategy, and which contribute to reduction of risks arising in, or operating through, Pacific Island countries
- Good project design, with clearly identified outcomes and well thought out activities, and with sustainable benefits to NZ and to the PICs where appropriate
- Solid partnership with, and buy-in from, Pacific counterpart(s),
- Strategies in place to manage risk and measure outcomes
- NZ Department/Agency capacity and counterpart capacity to carry out the project
- A reasonable budget

ENDS

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