Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

Joint Media Release

12 May 2009

Enhanced Pacific Engagement

Through the 2009-10 Budget the Government will provide $3.8 million over two years to continue to enhance Australia's engagement with the island states of the Pacific, as outlined in the Prime Minister's Port Moresby Declaration of March 2008.

It is in Australia's interests to help build strong, stable nations in our region, and this funding will take forward key components of the Government's Pacific Engagement Strategy, including the negotiation of Pacific Partnerships for Development.

Pacific Partnerships for Development commit Australia and Pacific island countries to achieving shared objectives, including more rapid progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.

The Government has successfully negotiated partnerships with Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Kiribati, and looks forward to concluding further agreements in the lead up to this year's Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' Meeting in Cairns, in August.

This funding will also support work to deliver a roadmap for negotiations on a comprehensive trade and economic agreement ("PACER Plus") between Australia, New Zealand and Pacific island countries. 

The Government will also provide $777.3 million over four years (including $29.0 million for DFAT) for continuation of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), reflecting Australia's commitment to supporting peace and stability in Solomon Islands.

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