Bilateral security treaty
Summary of publication
On 14 August 2017 former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and former Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Milner Tozaka signed a new security treaty between Australia and Solomon Islands. The treaty allows Australian police, defence and associated civilian personnel to deploy rapidly to Solomon Islands if the need arises and where both countries consent. It covers a range of foreseeable security threats, including natural disasters, and allows for third country contributions. This is Australia's first bilateral security treaty in the Pacific and replaces the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) treaty, which expired upon the withdrawal of RAMSI on 30 June 2017.
The treaty was tabled in Australia's Parliament on 16 October 2017, and was entered into force on 13 June 2018.
Our Bilateral Security Treaty was activated for the first time in November 2021 following civil unrest in Honiara. Australia was the first country Solomon Islands called upon for support. Since November 2021, Australia has deployed more than 300 Australian Federal Police (AFP), Australia Defence Force (ADF) and DFAT personnel – working alongside those from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand – to restore law and order in Honiara.
Following a request from Prime Minister Sogavare, Australia agreed to extend our Bilateral Security Treaty assistance to support Solomon Islands to prepare for, and host, the Pacific Games in December 2023.