Joint Declaration for a New Papua New Guinea-Australia Partnership

Signed at Port Moresby 10 May 2013

1. Australia and Papua New Guinea commit today to a new chapter in the bilateral relationship that will see us strengthen our ties, deepen cooperation and work together to grasp the opportunities and tackle the common challenges that lie ahead. We restate our mutual commitment to our relationship as equals and to each other as among our most important partners.

2. We recognise our respective national interests are served by a strong and enduring partnership. This new partnership will build on the 1987 Joint Declaration of Principles which has guided our relationship. It will be sustained by our shared history, enduring friendship, respect for democratic values and common interest in peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region.

3. We recommit to a partnership for the future, focused not only on our own unique ties but on working together in the Pacific, Asia and globally. This partnership will be exercised through regular consultation and strategic exchanges at the highest levels and expanded people-to-people links. It will be based on the following principles.

Stable, Prosperous Democracies

4. As independent constitutional democracies, Australia and Papua New Guinea commit to the rule of law, independent judicial systems, good governance, and freedom of speech as the foundation for stable, inclusive societies, and for ensuring sustained economic growth and development.

5. Australia and Papua New Guinea acknowledge the important role women and men play in political and economic spheres, and the vital contribution women make to our economic and political development. Both countries commit to the fundamental principle of equality for women and men, to ensuring improved economic and social opportunities for women, and increasing the representation of women in leadership roles.

Economic and Development Cooperation

6. Australia and Papua New Guinea welcome their growing economic links as reflected in their negotiation of an Australia-Papua New Guinea Economic Cooperation Treaty and commit to support free trade and rules-based investment processes. Both countries recognise the need to create an enabling environment for business, and acknowledge the role played by the private sector in economic development and service delivery.

7. Australia and Papua New Guinea recognise the economic benefits of sustainable and equitable development of their natural resources and the need to ensure revenue benefits current and future generations. Both countries commit to continue sharing expertise in the sustainable management of resources, and the development of supporting laws and mechanisms.

8. Australia and Papua New Guinea reaffirm their commitment to working closely through the Partnership for Development, to enable alignment and visibility of Australia's development assistance, in accordance with jointly agreed development priorities, to promote economic and social development and to support Papua New Guinea's efforts towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

Law Enforcement and Defence Cooperation

9. Australia and Papua New Guinea have a proud history of working closely to address common security challenges. As such, both countries are committed to strong cooperation in training and capacity building of defence, law enforcement, and judicial officers.

10. Australia and Papua New Guinea acknowledge the importance of maintaining the rule of law in their respective jurisdictions, including through effective and accountable policing, and reaffirm their commitment to work in partnership to combat corruption, money laundering, people smuggling, arms smuggling, terrorism, and illegal drug trafficking.

11. Australia and Papua New Guinea are committed to strengthening their enduring defence partnership. Recognising that people-to-people links, training and capacity building benefit the security of both countries and the Pacific region more broadly, Australia and Papua New Guinea have jointly determined to deepen bilateral cooperation in areas that advance their mutual security interests, including maritime and border security, regional peacekeeping, and disaster relief.

The Torres Strait

12. Australia and Papua New Guinea share a border which is managed by the special arrangements set out in the Treaty between Australia and the Independent State of Papua New Guinea concerning Sovereignty and Maritime Boundaries in the area between the two Countries, including the area known as Torres Strait, and Related Matters.

13. Both countries acknowledge the unique nature of our border and the ongoing importance of giving due regard to the traditional inhabitants of the Torres Strait and coastal Papua New Guinea adjacent to the Torres Strait. Both countries commit to the legal movement of peoples across this border, maintenance of quarantine and border security, and protection of our common marine environment.

Regional and International Cooperation

14. As the two largest countries in the Pacific Islands region, with common interests in addressing regional and global challenges, Australia and Papua New Guinea commit to supporting the work of the Pacific Islands Forum and other regional organisations in promoting regional stability, prosperity, good governance, sustainable development, environmental protection, and trade and economic integration, and to consulting closely on issues which threaten to undermine the stability of our region.

15. As members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Australia and Papua New Guinea acknowledge the importance of removing impediments to trade, consistent with WTO rules, and commit to work together to advance their respective international trade agendas. As members of the United Nations, both countries commit to supporting each other assuming greater roles and responsibilities in support of United Nations work.

(signed)

The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Prime Minister of Australia

(signed)

The Hon Peter O'Neill CMG MP
Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea