Council of Ministers has approved in its meeting on 22 January the establishment of Vanuatu National Security Council.
This has followed the paper presented by Prime Minister Charlot Salwai to seek the COM' endorsement on the establishment of Vanuatu National Security Council as an advisory body to the Council of Ministers.
In 2009, through the minister of internal affairs launched its first ever policy document with the thme "Building a Safer and Secure Vanuatu" for the next 10 years from 2010-2020. The policy identified a number of gaps that needed addressing and among them was the need to create a National Security Council. In February 2011, a quarterly business meeting of Vanuatu Police Force Commanders resolved that the issue of the establishment of the National Security Council must be brought before the attention of the minister of internal affairs and referred to the prime minister. An official note was then addressed to the minister of internal affairs outlining the importance of establishing the National Security Council. The National Security Council would then develop a comprehensive National Security Policy to provide a framework for national security issues that identified the gaps, provides an action plan for addressing them and calls for more coordinated and integrated security policy processes to be put in place. The Vanuatu National Security Council is responsible for advising the government on security, peace and law and order issues in Vanuatu.
Past years have resulted in various issues plaguing the Vanuatu Police Force including lack of community trust, low level of discipline within the organisation, lack of strong leadership within the executive and middle ranks, fractured relationships within the senior executive, lack of suitable systems to content with the complex government requirements surrounding finance and human resource allocations, lack of strategic direction. The issues continue to affect the independency of VPF to operate as an independent, impartial enforce of law. The establishment of National Security Council should allow for the undependency of VPF by acting as a buffer between VPF management and decision makers. Furthermore , the National Security Council should develop a policy to provide an overall framework for the national security that identified gaps, provides an action plan for addressing them and call for more coordinated and integrated security policy processes to be in place. The Council will be responsible to develop a long-term strategic policy framework that focuses on the three core national security interest such as ensuring that security shall prevail in Vanuatu at all times, protecting Vanuatu citizens in Vanuatu and abroad and participate in UN Peace Keeping missions in term of international security.
The operational budget of the office will be allocated from the recurrent budget of the prime minister's office in consultation with department of finance.