The announcement was made by ministers for foreign affairs of Australia and New Zealand, with Australia's Marise Payne announcing a $9 million expansion to Australia's Cyber Cooperation Program (CCP) over four years.
This brings Australia's total investment in cyber co-operation to $38.4 million by 2022 after the launch of a National Cyber Security Centre in Papua New Guinea.
“We will continue to work with regional partners to strengthen cyber crime prevention, prosecution and co-operation; and enhance cyber incident response capability,” said Minister Payne.
Pacific Islands Forum leaders endorsed the Boe Declaration in September, which highlighted cyber security as a security concern for the region. New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters reaffirmed his country's commitment to lifting its capacity-building support for Pacific island partners.
“New Zealand’s increased, re-oriented development program recognises the emerging challenges facing the Pacific, and New Zealand is committed to helping address these through its Pacific Reset,” said Minister Peters.
“New Zealand was pleased to partner with Australia and Papua New Guinea to support cyber security capacity for APEC Leaders Week – and beyond – and we want to continue this collaborative approach across the region.”
The work will support the Pacific Cyber Security Operational Network (PaCSON), launched earlier this year between 14 countries in the region.
The PaCSON initiative is funded by the Australian government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's CCP.
The CCP was introduced in May 2016, and carried an initial investment of $1 million annually over four years.