Joint Statement on the Fifth Indonesia-Australia Foreign and Defence Ministers 2+2 Meeting

Release details

Release type

Related ministers and contacts

The Hon Julie Bishop MP

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Senator the Hon Marise Payne

Minister for Defence

Media contact
  • Henry Budd (Minister Payne’s office) 0429 531 143
  • Defence Media (02) 6127 1999

Her Excellency Retno Marsudi

Minister for Foreign Affairs

His Excellency General (retired) Ryamizard Ryacudu

Minister of Defence

Release content

16 March 2018

The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs

Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Defence

Her Excellency Retno Marsudi, Minister for Foreign Affairs

His Excellency General (retired) Ryamizard Ryacudu, Minister of Defence

  1. Australian and Indonesian Foreign and Defence Ministers met for the Fifth 2+2 Meeting on 16 March 2018 in Sydney, Australia, in advance of the inaugural Australia-ASEAN Special Summit.
  2. Guided by the principles of the 2006 Lombok Treaty, Ministers met in a spirit of friendship, partnership and shared resolve to address the political and strategic challenges faced by our region. The meeting’s wide-ranging and open discussion reflected the strength, breadth and importance of the Australia-Indonesia relationship, which brings benefit to both our peoples and has the potential to grow further.
  3. Ministers welcomed the signing of the renewed Defence Cooperation Arrangement on 1 February 2018 as an important reaffirmation of the strength of the longstanding defence relationship.
  4. The meeting acknowledged the fourth Indonesia Australia Dialogue (IAD) to be held in early April 2018 in Sydney, which will bring together leaders from both countries in the fields of politics, business, media, academia, science, innovation, community and culture to discuss our shared interests and challenges in a changing geo-strategic environment. Ministers await recommendations from Dialogue participants on new ways to advance the relationship.

Indo-Pacific Region

  1. Ministers welcomed the opportunity to exchange frank views on the geo-strategic shifts underway in the Indo-Pacific, recognising our shared security and prosperity is affected by developments in both the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Indonesia acknowledged Australia’s Foreign Policy White Paper and noted the synergies with Indonesia’s own vision for the region. Australia was grateful for the briefing Indonesia provided on its own developing Indo-Pacific vision. Ministers agreed to hold an Australia-Indonesia Senior Officials Meeting on the Indo-Pacific in the near future.
  2. Ministers emphasised our two countries’ shared interest in an Indo-Pacific region that is open, transparent, inclusive, rules-based, prosperous and resilient, in which the rights of all states are respected. They further emphasised that all countries should act in a way that enhances stability and reinforces international law.
  3. Ministers reiterated their commitment to engage with the ASEAN-led regional architecture, particularly the East Asia Summit, ASEAN Regional Forum and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting‑Plus (ADMM-Plus). They emphasised the important role this architecture plays in setting expectations of behaviour, supporting respect for international law, reinforcing a rules-based regional order and promoting habits of cooperation on shared challenges.
  4. Ministers reiterated their commitment to further exploring and expanding practical defence cooperation under the ADMM-Plus. In particular, Ministers recognised the important contribution Australia and Indonesia are making as co-chairs of the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations  2017-2020.
  5. Ministers recognised the value of working cooperatively in multilateral fora. Australia acknowledged Indonesia’s achievements as Chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) from 2015-2017, including the inaugural 2017 IORA Leaders’ Summit and Jakarta Concord. Ministers emphasised the importance of Australia and Indonesia working together to continue to strengthen IORA as a critical pillar of the region’s architecture. 
  6. Ministers discussed the importance of deep, broad and constructive engagement with Pacific island countries. They committed to finalising as soon as practicable an initiative for joint development cooperation in the region.
  7. Ministers recognised that recent developments in the South China Sea directly affect the region. In this context, they emphasised the importance of maintaining peace, security and stability, freedom of navigation in and over-flight above the South China Sea. Ministers underscored the importance for the states concerned to resolve disputes peacefully and in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They also emphasised the importance of non-militarisation, exercising self-restraint in the conduct of activities and avoiding actions that may raise tensions. Ministers noted the commitment of ASEAN Member States and China to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety, and acknowledged ASEAN Member States and China’s efforts to work towards the early conclusion of an effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC), consistent with international law.

Maritime Cooperation and Security

  1. The importance of effective maritime cooperation as a key part of our joint response to the region’s strategic challenges was underlined by Ministers. Owing to Australia and Indonesia’s long history of comprehensive maritime cooperation, Ministers noted the important role Australia and Indonesia have to play in regional maritime security, including in cooperation with ASEAN partners.
  2. Ministers highlighted the breadth and complexity of the range of maritime security threats facing the region, including challenges to sovereignty; the smuggling of people, arms, drugs and money; illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; the movement of terrorists; and environmental concerns.
  3. Ministers reiterated shared commitment to strengthen and expand maritime cooperation in response to these threats as underpinned by the Joint Declaration on Maritime Cooperation signed by Foreign Ministers in Sydney in February 2017. Ministers welcomed the signing of the Maritime Cooperation Plan of Action as the instrument by which the Joint Declaration will be implemented.  Australia thanked Indonesia for adopting the Minister of Marine and Fisheries’ Affairs Decree on the HMAS Perth (I) Maritime Conservation Zone in the waters of Banten Province.
  4. Ministers reflected on the significance of the Indian Ocean as a key strategic interest for Australia and Indonesia. They shared views on the importance of unimpeded trade, secure sea lines of communication and maritime approaches, and increased maritime domain awareness. Ministers committed to work together to take forward practical ideas to enhance defence maritime cooperation in the Indian Ocean.
  5. Australia commended the program of trilateral maritime patrols in the Sulu Sea launched by Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines in June 2017. Australia and Indonesia agreed the importance of this cooperation as part of the regional response to criminal activities including piracy, drug trafficking and kidnapping as well as foreign terrorist fighters’ movements. Ministers noted the potential for this cooperation to further promote improved information-sharing and maritime domain awareness in the region.  In this regard, Australia also commended Indonesia’s leadership of the ‘Our Eyes’ information sharing initiative. Australia reiterated its willingness to support Indonesia’s leadership of sub-regional maritime security cooperation.

Regional and Global Cooperation

  1. Ministers underscored the close partnership between Australia and Indonesia on countering terrorism and violent extremism in our region. Ministers highlighted our mutually beneficial and effective operational cooperation, bilateral exercises and training. Australia and Indonesia re-committed to continue working closely together to strengthen regional responses to the threat of terrorism. Australia thanked Indonesia for its involvement in the inaugural Sub-Regional Defence Ministers’ Meeting on Counter-Terrorism in Perth, and appreciated Indonesia’s willingness to host the next meeting in 2019. Ministers welcomed the opportunity to explore counter-terrorism cooperation further at the ASEAN-Special Summit Counter-Terrorism Conference on 17 March 2018.
  2. Ministers shared the view that the return of foreign terrorist fighters from Iraq and Syria was a key emerging challenge requiring a collective regional response. In the aftermath of the situation in the southern Philippines, Ministers also expressed their commitment to closely cooperate with the Philippines and other regional partners to prevent extremists within the region as well as further afield from preparing or conducting acts of terrorism and violent extremism in our region.
  3. Ministers emphasised the important role an open, free and secure internet plays in driving economic growth, enhancing national security and fostering international stability. Ministers commented on the positive momentum in our bilateral cyber cooperation. Australia commended Indonesia on the establishment of its National Cyber and Crypto Agency. Ministers committed to further strengthen our partnership in this area including through the ASEAN Regional Forum Inter Sessional Meeting on ICT Security. Ministers looked forward to Indonesia’s hosting of the next bilateral Cyber Policy Dialogue later this year.
  4. Ministers acknowledged the value and importance of our cooperation to successfully disrupt and dismantle people-smuggling networks. As Co-Chairs of the Bali Process, Ministers discussed their concerns about the mass displacement of Rohingya and the potential for large scale irregular movement in the region. Ministers applauded the success of the inaugural Bali Process Government and Business Forum and noted the implementation of the Bali Process Consultation Mechanism. Ministers looked forward to Indonesia’s hosting of the Seventh Bali Process Ministerial Conference, scheduled to be held in August 2018 in Bali.

    Other related releases