Stepping-up in the Solomon Islands
PM Morrison and PM Sogavare Joint Statement on 3 June 2019 (extract).
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare met today in Honiara to celebrate Australia and Solomon Islands' partnership as 'true wantoks'.
As two proud sovereign nations in the Pacific family, Australia and Solomon Islands enjoy a close friendship and a shared history that was further strengthened by our partnership in the 14-year Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). As Solomon Islands celebrates the success of its first democratic election since RAMSI, Australia stands proudly as a partner and a friend.
Consistent with the Australian Government's enhanced Pacific engagement, Australia and Solomon Islands will continue to work closely together to boost our engagement by strengthening community bonds and tackling common challenges.
More information on Australia's relationship with Solomon Islands is available on the Solomon Islands country page.
Stronger security partnerships - on 5 September 2018 in Nauru, Pacific Islands Forum Leaders adopted the Boe Declaration on Regional Security to guide future regional responses to emerging security issues. The new declaration recognises an expanded concept of security, inclusive of human, cyber and environmental security.
To support implementation of the Boe Declaration, and as foreshadowed in our Foreign Policy White Paper, we have established the Australia Pacific Security College (College). The Pacific Fusion Centre (Centre), announced by Foreign Minister Payne in Nauru in September 2018, is another initiative supporting implementation of the Boe Declaration and our Foreign Policy White Paper.
Australia will hand over two Guardian-Class Patrol Boats to Solomon Islands to replace the previously gifted Patrol Boats. The first was handed over in November 2019 at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Sogavare, and one is scheduled to be handed over in mid-2021. This will support maritime security in the Pacific region, under the Pacific Maritime Security Program.
Strengthening our Pacific Partnerships - Australia is taking our partnership with the Pacific to a new level. We are working with our Pacific partners to build a region that is secure strategically, stable economically and sovereign politically.
The Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme are demand driven, and will help fill the labour gaps in Australia's towns and on our farms, boosting economic activity and competitiveness in rural and regional Australia.
We are continuing to deliver sports for development outcomes through the Pacific Sports Partnership (PSP) Program. Solomon Islands recently hosted the Australian junior Matildas women's Soccer team as part of their Pacific tour.
Under the Pacific Step-up, Australia is further deepening educational links with the region through expanded secondary and primary level teacher training, exchanges and engagement, and a targeted science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teaching program. These education development programs have adapted to COVID-19 with innovation and flexibility, pivoting to deliver core activities online. Working collaboratively with Pacific education partners is central to our approach.
Operational since 1 July 2019, the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP) supports transformative infrastructure in the Pacific and Timor-Leste. Australia is engaging closely with governments across the Pacific, including through our diplomatic missions, to ensure the AIFFP supports the development priorities of Pacific countries.
Australia has a deep and longstanding relationship with Solomon Islands. Australia is the largest provider of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Solomon Islands. Our program currently focuses on three strategic objectives, identified as priorities for the Solomon Islands together with the Solomon Islands Government: