CSIS Creates New Policy Platform Dedicated to New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific Islands: “The Pacific Partners Initiative”

  • Jul 22, 2011

    WASHINGTON, July 22, 2011—The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) announces the creation of a new program, The Pacific Partners Initiative, to focus on New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific Island countries. The announcement was made today during a meeting with visiting New Zealand prime minister, The Rt. Honorable John Key, at Blair House in Washington, D.C.

    The Pacific Partners Initiative is the first forum in a Washington-based think tank designed to provide sustained high-level policy focus on Oceania. The initiative will be led by Ernest Bower, CSIS senior adviser for Southeast Asia, and Michael Green, CSIS senior adviser and Japan Chair and former National Security Council senior director for Asia.

    The new initiative will include dedicated programs, research-based studies and publications, a web portal (http://csis.org/program/pacific-partners-initiative), a Facebook presence (http://www.facebook.com/csispacificpartners), and a trilateral “Track 2­­“ dialogue driven by CSIS and leading think thanks in Australia and New Zealand. CSIS published a foundational study in February 2011, Pacific Partners: The Future of U.S.–New Zealand Relations, which makes the case for a renewed U.S.–New Zealand partnership.

    “I am pleased that CSIS is focusing on the relationship with New Zealand and Australia and our region,” said The Rt. Honorable Mike Moore, New Zealand ambassador to the United States. “New Zealand and the U.S. share a wide array of common interests, and we can and should benefit from the attention and insights of the thought leaders in Washington.”

    “At last, an American initiative to focus on the South Pacific!” said the Hon. Kim Beazley, Australian ambassador to the United States. “Engaging the U.S. intellectually and physically in the South Pacific has been a consistent Australian agenda item since World War II.”

    “CSIS is focusing seriously on the strategic importance of Asia to the United States over the next several decades,” said Dr. John Hamre, CSIS president and CEO. “Our Pacific Partners Initiative will focus resources on the critically important relationships with New Zealand and Australia, and provide insights and ideas to coordinate our policies in the Asia Pacific.”

    The announcement was made at a CSIS policy roundtable hosted for Prime Minister Key and chaired by General Brent Scowcroft, CSIS trustee and former U.S. national security adviser.

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    The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization that seeks to advance global security and prosperity by providing strategic insights and practical policy solutions to decisionmakers.