This first meeting of Australian and Indonesian Foreign and Defence Ministers is a milestone in the development of the comprehensive and strategic partnership between our two countries.
Our discussions today focused on bilateral relations as well as the critical role that Indonesia and Australia can and do play together in shaping regional developments and addressing global challenges. We reaffirmed our commitment to regional and multilateral institutions, and agreed to work even more closely and cooperatively together to shape the evolving strategic landscape that connects the Indian and the Pacific Oceans.
The Lombok Treaty underpins our bilateral relationship, committing both countries to mutual respect and support for each other’s sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity. Under the Treaty our two countries have pledged to work together on traditional and non-traditional security threats. The fruits of the close cooperation between our law enforcement agencies are evident in Indonesia’s success in disrupting terrorist networks and bringing terrorists to justice.
The close defence cooperation between our two countries is focused on counter-terrorism, maritime cooperation, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and peacekeeping. We discussed our respective peacekeeping commitments and noted the opportunity for greater cooperation in this field, following the establishment of the Peacekeeping and Security Centre. We are also pleased that preparations are now underway for Australia to give up to four C-130H aircraft to Indonesia, which Indonesia will then refurbish, thus boosting Indonesia’s capacity to deliver humanitarian assistance.
As co-Chairs of the Bali Process Indonesia and Australia have committed to enhancing our cooperation in support of disruption of people smuggling efforts, and reaffirmed our intention of establishing a Bali Process regional support office in Bangkok to strengthen further efforts to combat people smuggling under a regional cooperation framework. We discussed the new processes in place in Australia to speed the return home of Indonesian minors who had been involved in people smuggling activities.
We recognised the need to continue our close dialogue on regional architecture, and to work together to shape the evolving strategic landscape in the region. Australian ministers congratulated their Indonesian counterparts on their record of strong leadership in regional fora, including ASEAN, the ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) Plus, and the East Asia Summit (EAS).
We welcomed the participation of the United States and Russia at the 6th EAS in Bali, noting that the EAS now address the full suite of political, economic and security challenges facing our region. We underscored the importance of resolving territorial disputes in the South China Sea peacefully and in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
We discussed opportunities for ongoing constructive engagement with other countries in the region, including in dealing with major priorities such as disaster preparedness and response, climate change, sustainable economic development, and human rights issues.
We agreed to follow up Indonesia’s proposal to conduct a joint exercise in responding rapidly to disasters within the framework of the East Asia Summit under the co-chairs of Indonesia and Australia.
We welcomed the positive developments in Myanmar/Burma and further encouraged the Government to continue the reform process.
We welcomed positive developments on the issue of the South China Sea, including the Guidelines on the Declaration of Conduct and the initiation of elements of a code of conduct.
Noting Indonesia will chair APEC in 2013 and Australia will chair the G20 in 2014, we committed to work in partnership in multilateral fora to advance effective responses to global and regional economic challenges. Consistent with the Lombok Treaty, Australia and Indonesia will continue to work together constructively through the United Nations on a range of issues of mutual interest.
While the trade and economic relationship between Australia and Indonesia continues to expand there is potential for more growth. We look forward to the commencement of formal negotiations towards the Indonesia Australia Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), in order to boost trade, investment and economic cooperation and underpin future growth in business relations between the two countries.
Ministers noted Indonesia’s strong progress in addressing development challenges and agreed that our cooperation in this area has been very successful to date and will continue to grow into the future. Through this partnership Australia and Indonesia have been working across many sectors, including in the areas of poverty alleviation, education, health and infrastructure.
Australia and Indonesia enjoy a friendly and constructive partnership. We are confident that Australians and Indonesians at all levels will continue to work closely together to secure our common future. We welcomed the contribution of the Australia Indonesia Dialogue held in Jakarta in 2011, noting that strong and diverse people-to-people links bring vitality and creativity to the relationship. We look forward to the next 2+2 talks, to be held in Indonesia in 2013.