Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong will travel to the Marshall Islands this week to further strengthen Australia’s genuine and longstanding partnerships in the Pacific.

Australia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands share deep ties fostered over 35 years of diplomatic “relations.

“I look forward to meeting President David Kabua to discuss our shared commitment to addressing key challenges for our region such as climate change and economic security.

“As a demonstration of this commitment, the Australian Government will extend the Australia-North Pacific Connector flights programme between Brisbane, Nauru, Tarawa, Majuro and Pohnpei for a further six months until December 2023.

“The Government will also provide additional support to the United Nations Development Programme’s project to improve household and community rainwater harvesting and storage in the Marshall Islands.

“I will also represent Australia at the 20th Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee Ministerial Meeting and the 4th Regional Fisheries Ministers Meeting to help shape the strategic direction for oceanic fisheries, coastal fisheries and aquaculture in our region,” said Wong in a statement.

Australia will support the provision of satellite surveillance data to the Forum Fisheries Agency and its members to help combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and to respond to climate-related and humanitarian events, she said.

“The Government will also invest in a new higher education partnership to expand career pathways in the fisheries and marine resource management sector across the Pacific.

Australia is deeply committed to working in partnership with the Pacific family to achieve our shared vision of a peaceful, prosperous and resilient region,” said Wong.