On this day, 21st January 1944, the Australia- New Zealand...

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’.

Signing of historic Australia-New Zealand Pacific Security Pact at House of Representatives, Canberra, 21 Jan 1944 PXA 644 / 275-276

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.