Security vs. sovereignty as leaders debate Solomon Island deal

Posted on 12 April 2022

Last week Minister Nanaia Mahuta travelled to Fiji to sign a high-level partnership agreement, “uniting like never before” according to Fiji’s prime minister, to partner on economic, security, climate change and humanitarian aid issues. Foreign Minister Mahuta says Pacific leaders want “greater clarity” from the Solomon Islands about their contentious China security deal, suggesting they may need to bring forward a crucial regional meeting.
Some are also questioning about how much these conversations and concerns truly respect the sovereignty of the Solomon Islands and, by extension, other Pacific nations. Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare last week rebuked New Zealand and Australia for their disapproval of his country's security agreement. At the start of this month, Pacific leader released a statement challenging regional leaders to reflect on what sovereignty means in the Pacific.