MINISTER FOR DEFENCE
Senator the Hon Marise Payne
MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
The Hon Julie Bishop MP
FOREIGN AND DEFENCE MINISTERS 2+2 DIALOGUE
- The Australian and Indonesian Foreign and Defence Ministers held the third 2+2 Dialogue on 21 December 2015 in Sydney, Australia. They had a wide ranging discussion on bilateral, regional and global issues of common concern.
- Ministers highlighted the new momentum in the bilateral relationship underpinned by strong government to government ties and active people to people links in education, tourism and commerce.
- Ministers welcomed strong and growing defence, security and strategic ties, underpinned by the Framework for Security Cooperation (the Lombok Treaty). Australia reiterated its long-standing support for Indonesia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
- Ministers welcomed the convening of the bilateral defence strategic dialogues in Canberra and Jakarta in November 2015.
- They committed to strengthen further security cooperation, including in the fields of maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, capability development and procurement. To this end, they agreed to renew the bilateral Defence Cooperation Arrangement.
- As two countries with a long history of responding together to natural disasters and providing humanitarian assistance, Ministers welcomed preparations for a new Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief exercise in 2016.
- As two neighbouring G20 economies, Australia and Indonesia aspire to build the economic partnership further, particularly by promoting investment in infrastructure development and through growing opportunities in the services sector and regional value chains. Ministers looked forward to reinvigorating negotiation towards an Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which would facilitate greater trade and investment. Ministers also welcomed the interest of Indonesia in becoming a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
- Indonesia welcomed Australia’s White Paper on Developing Northern Australia and noted synergies with Indonesia’s vision of developing its eastern region. Ministers encouraged both sides to intensify links between northern Australia and eastern Indonesia.
- Ministers further underlined the importance of building stronger people to people links, particularly in building greater mutual understanding among youth as the future generation to add more ballast and sustain the growing bilateral relationship.
- In this regard, they noted the importance of further intensifying educational and tourism links. Australia noted that Indonesia was the most popular destination for Australian students under the New Colombo Plan, with around 2000 Australians being supported to study in Indonesia in the first three years of the program. At the same time, Ministers also noted that Australia remains the top destination for Indonesian students overseas with around 17000 students studying in Australia.
- Australia welcomed Indonesia’s agreement to host the third Indonesia Australia Dialogue at the end of March 2016, which would bring together leaders from both countries in the fields of politics, business, media, academia, science, innovation, community and culture.
Maritime Cooperation and Security
- As respectively the world’s only island continent and the world’s largest archipelagic state, located at the fulcrum of the Pacific and Indian oceans, Australia and Indonesia aspire to a secure maritime domain in which people, trade and the environment flourish.
- Ministers acknowledged the importance of maritime trade and the blue economy to the collective prosperity of both countries. They underlined the importance of building stronger transportation links and maritime capabilities, including through port to port collaboration and maritime education cooperation between relevant agencies and institutions.
- Ministers further welcomed the adoption of the EAS Statement on Enhancing Regional Maritime Cooperation and determined to take concrete action in the priority areas, namely cooperation in sustainable marine economic development; promoting peace, stability and security; addressing trans-boundary challenges; developing maritime connectivity, and promoting cooperation between research institutions. They emphasised the need to ensure that the region was free of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. They decided to work together towards early inclusion of maritime cooperation as a priority area of cooperation in the EAS
- Australia welcomed Indonesia’s ambition and vision as current Chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA). Australia supported Indonesia’s intention to mainstream maritime cooperation during its Chairmanship. Ministers looked forward to beginning work towards an IORA Concord with a view to having it adopted on the occasion of the IORA 20th anniversary at the IORA Summit in March 2017.
- Ministers acknowledged that ensuring maritime security is a critical element in maintaining peace and stability and the rule of law in the region. They emphasised the importance of promoting a rules-based international order, respect for international law, ensuring freedom of navigation and over flight, and unimpeded lawful commerce as well as resolving maritime disputes by peaceful means, in accordance with recognised principles of international law including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
- Minister recognised that the issue of South China Sea is directly related to the peace and stability of the region. They expressed concern at the recent and ongoing developments in the South China Sea and called on all parties to exercise restraint, take steps to ease tensions and restrain from provocative actions that could escalate tensions. Further, they urged all claimant states to maintain and enhance mutual trust and confidence through consultations and negotiations in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law, including UNCLOS.
- They also underscored the commitment of the ASEAN Member States and China to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea in its entirety and the expeditious establishment of an effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.
The Indo-Pacific Region
- Australia and Indonesia are strategic partners with a shared commitment to a stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
- Ministers emphasised the importance of regional forums that underpin and build regional stability and foster economic growth.
- They commended efforts to strengthen further the East Asia Summit (EAS) as the premier leader-led forum for strategic dialogue in the region.
- Ministers also reaffirmed ASEAN’s centrality to these efforts and the importance of continued strong Indonesian leadership in ASEAN-led forums.
- Ministers welcomed the continued contributions of the ASEAN Regional Forum and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus to fostering cooperation and dialogue on security issues. They looked forward to co-hosting the next regional Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime in March 2016.
- Ministers welcomed progress made to date in negotiation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and underlined the importance of these negotiations for supporting continued economic progress in the region.
- Ministers agreed to work jointly in the Pacific region to support economic development, disaster preparedness and good governance. As a first step, both countries will explore opportunities with Pacific partners to support agricultural livelihoods, to build disaster preparedness, including early warning systems for natural disasters, and disaster rebuilding and recovery.
Counter terrorism and cyber security
- Ministers noted with concern that the terrorism threat was on the rise in the region.
- They emphasised that Australia and Indonesia face a common threat, share a common purpose and require a common approach to defeating the scourge of terrorism.
- Acknowledging that Australia and Indonesia have enjoyed close cooperation on counter-terrorism over a long period, Ministers recommitted Australia and Indonesia to work more closely together to address the threat, including through sharing of intelligence and counter-messaging strategies.
- Ministers welcomed the Sydney Communique of the Counter Terrorism Financing Summit that was co-hosted by Australia and Indonesia in November 2015. They noted the strategic value of close cooperation between Australia, Indonesia and regional partners to identify and disrupt the flow of money used by terrorists and criminals.
- Ministers agreed to redouble efforts to respond to the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters and their return, including through closer cooperation of law enforcement authorities, national security agencies, immigration and customs and religious community leaders and organisations.
- They welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Combatting International Terrorism, which will underpin engagement to 2018.
- Ministers noted that cooperation on counter-terrorism and on cyber security would be advanced further at the meeting of the Australia-Indonesia Ministerial Council on Law and Security in Jakarta today.
- Ministers looked forward to the next 2+2 dialogue to be held in Indonesia in 2016.
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