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

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Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC

Minister for Defence

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Nicky Hamer (Minister Reynolds’ Office): +61 437 989 927

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6 December 2019


  1. Australian and Indonesian Foreign and Defence Ministers met for the sixth 2+2 Meeting on 6 December 2019 in Bali, Indonesia, following the twelfth Bali Democracy Forum.
  2. Guided by the principles of the 2006 Lombok Treaty, the Ministers met in a spirit of friendship, partnership and shared resolve to address the political and strategic challenges faced by our region. The Ministers affirmed that our countries remain committed to engaging closely on key bilateral issues and working together on regional challenges. Indonesia and Australia will be stronger if we tackle challenges together and look for opportunities to expand our institutional links.
  3. The Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP), announced by President Joko Widodo and Prime Minister Scott Morrison in August 2018, reflects the strong commitment by Leaders to strengthening cooperation between Indonesia and Australia. The Ministers recognised that the CSP provides our countries with a robust policy framework to deepen existing cooperation and support new initiatives across five agreed areas: our economic and development partnership, connecting people, securing our shared interests, maritime cooperation and Indo-Pacific stability and prosperity. The Ministers committed to working closely in achieving the goals of the CSP.
  4. The Ministers highlighted the strength and maturity of the bilateral defence relationship, underscoring that close cooperation between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) helps underpin regional security and resilience. The Ministers recognised the importance of the defence relationship as a foundational pillar of the overall CSP, and welcomed the significant progress achieved in 2019.
  5. The Ministers looked forward to the Guest of Government visit to Australia by His Excellency Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia in the first quarter of 2020, and noted this represented an important opportunity to further advance the bilateral relationship.
  6. The Ministers also noted broader positive developments in the bilateral relationship which is built on the foundations of the CSP, including through the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), our development cooperation program and support for people-to-people ties through the Indonesia Australia Dialogue, due to be held in Indonesia in 2020.

Indo-Pacific Stability and Prosperity

  1. The Ministers exchanged views on the shifts underway in Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific. They noted that Australia and Indonesia’s strategic outlooks are converging, as both seek to navigate a contested regional environment. They emphasised our two countries’ shared interest in an Indo-Pacific region that is open, inclusive and prosperous, and where countries adhere to international law and other agreed rules and norms. The Ministers welcomed the July 2019 adoption of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific by ASEAN Leaders. The Ministers reaffirmed their strong commitment to promote practical cooperation to support the implementation of the ASEAN Outlook.
  2. The Ministers acknowledged the centrality of ASEAN in underpinning regional security and stability. They emphasised their commitment to engage with ASEAN-led regional architecture, particularly the East Asia Summit, ASEAN Regional Forum and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus). They committed to work together towards a stronger and more resilient regional architecture in the Indo-Pacific and contribute to resolving our shared regional and global challenges. The Ministers also 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
  3. The Ministers acknowledged our two countries’ history of collaboration in ASEAN forums. Indonesia recognised Australia’s co-sponsorship of the Indonesia-led ASEAN Regional Forum Statement on Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for the ADMM-Plus as a framework to promote practical defence cooperation and security in South East Asia. The Ministers recognised the important contribution Australia and Indonesia have made as co-chairs of the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations for the 2017-2020 cycle.
  4. The Ministers noted the value of working cooperatively in other regional and multilateral forums. They acknowledged the value of ongoing trilateral cooperation with India and Timor-Leste, and committed to further strengthening these partnerships. Australia welcomed Indonesia’s membership of the United Nations Security Council and recent election to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The Ministers agreed to work closely in the United Nations and other multilateral institutions, including the G20, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
  5. The Ministers recognised the importance of infrastructure and connectivity in the Indo-Pacific. Australia affirmed its intention to support implementation of the connectivity agenda in the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, including through continued support for the implementation of the Masterplan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025. The Ministers look forward to the proposed organising of the ASEAN Indo-Pacific Infrastructure and Connectivity Forum: Supporting ASEAN Economic Transformation Towards High Value Added Economy, to be hosted by Indonesia in 2020.
  6. The Ministers recognised the importance of deep, broad and constructive engagement with Pacific island countries and Pacific regional institutions. They committed to further exploring options for complementary development cooperation in the region. Australia welcomed the announcement of the Indonesian Agency for International Development (IndoAid) and offered to explore further collaboration with the Australian development cooperation program.

Maritime Cooperation

  1. The Ministers shared the view that effective maritime cooperation is a key part of our joint response to the region’s strategic challenges, and reiterated their shared commitment to strengthen maritime cooperation under the 2017 Joint Declaration on Maritime Cooperation and 2018 Maritime Cooperation Plan of Action, in accordance with Pillar Four of the CSP.
  2. The Ministers acknowledged Australia and Indonesia’s long history of comprehensive bilateral maritime security cooperation. They recognised that both countries’ collective security and prosperity relied on the stability of our shared maritime domains, in both the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The Ministers agreed to enhance information-sharing, to understand the full range of maritime security challenges in our immediate region, and beyond. 
  3. The Ministers noted that regional and multilateral cooperation is a vital part of our increased maritime engagement and discussed opportunities to take forward greater trilateral maritime cooperation with India and Timor-Leste. They recognised the importance of Australia and Indonesia working together to continue to strengthen IORA as a critical pillar of the region’s architecture.
  4. The Ministers expressed serious concerns about developments in the South China Sea and reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, security and stability, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the region. The Ministers underscored the importance of disputes being resolved peacefully in accordance with international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They also expressed their concern at the continued militarisation of disputed features and encouraged all parties to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities and avoid actions that may raise tensions. They noted negotiations between ASEAN and China towards a Code of Conduct and the importance of any Code being effective, substantive, and consistent with international law, in particular UNCLOS; that it not prejudice the interests of third parties or the rights of states under international law; and that it support existing, inclusive regional architecture.

Securing Our and the Region’s Shared Interests

  1. The Ministers underscored the close partnership between Australia and Indonesia on countering terrorism and violent extremism in our region, in line with Pillar Three of the CSP. The Ministers highlighted our mutually beneficial and effective operational cooperation, bilateral exercises and training. Australia and Indonesia reaffirmed their commitment to work closely to strengthen regional responses to the threat of terrorism.
  2. The Ministers recognised the importance of peacekeeping as a key area of practical cooperation in the bilateral relationship. Australia commended Indonesia’s leading role in contributing to global peacekeeping efforts. The Ministers reiterated their commitment to promote the Women, Peace and Security agenda.
  3. The Ministers welcomed and reaffirmed their commitment to efforts to broaden and deepen peacekeeping cooperation between the ADF and TNI. The Ministers announced their intent for Australia and Indonesia to co-deploy on a United Nations peacekeeping mission. They agreed to the establishment of a permanent Indonesian instructor position at the Australian Peacekeeping Operations Training Centre, as an avenue to strengthen training cooperation. The Ministers highlighted that these developments signalled a new chapter in the Australia-Indonesia peacekeeping partnership.
  4. The Ministers highlighted the importance of strong cooperation on cyber security between Australia and Indonesia, following the signing of our Memorandum of Understanding on Cyber Cooperation in August 2018. The Ministers emphasised the important role an open, free and secure internet plays in driving economic growth, enhancing national security and fostering international stability. The Ministers looked forward to the next bilateral Cyber Policy Dialogue in 2020.
  5. The Ministers recognised that Australia and Indonesia have shared interests in regional humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR), and stand to benefit from sharing expertise and experience in this area. The Ministers acknowledged the success of the bilateral exercise Nusa Bhakti Ausindo, held in Sydney in November this year. They looked forward to the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, which will be hosted by Australia in 2020.
  6. The Ministers welcomed the inclusion of Indonesian observers in Exercise Crocodile Response, between the ADF and United States Marine Rotational Force - Darwin (MRF-D) in Northern Australia this year. The Ministers acknowledged continuing discussions between the Chief of the Defence Force and Panglima TNI regarding Indonesia’s participation in future HADR exercises with the ADF and MRF-D.
  7. The Australian Foreign and Defence Ministers appreciated the kind hospitality and excellent arrangements provided by the Indonesian Government. The Ministers look forward to the organising of the next Indonesia-Australia Foreign and Defence Ministers’ 2+2 Meeting, to be hosted in Australia.

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