On this day, 21st January 1944, the Australia- New Zealand Pacific Security Pact (Canberra Pact) was signed in Canberra.
This was not a military alliance; its focus was on working together on issues of mutual interest, in particular the post-war fate of the Pacific islands.
They agreed to:
- a framework for consultation on matters of common interest
- assert their right to be involved in setting peace terms and in the creation of any post-war international organisation
- the creation of a regional defence zone stretching across the Pacific from Australia to Western Samoa and the Cook Islands
- support the principle of trusteeship for the remaining Pacific island colonies
- set up a regional commission to advance economic, political and social development in the ‘South Seas’.
State Library of New South Wales
Pictured are prime ministers, John Curtin (Australia) Peter Fraser (NZ) with
H V (Doc) Evatt. Attorney-General and Minister for External Affairs.