Australia signs maritime declaration with India

  • Media release

Australia has signed a wide-ranging maritime declaration with India, marking a major step forward in the security and defence relationship as part of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between our countries.

The Joint Declaration on Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific commits our nations to supporting the rules-based maritime order in the region, founded on respect for the sovereignty of all nations and international law, particularly the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Importantly, the partnership extends to working together to strengthen maritime domain awareness throughout the Indo-Pacific, and combating transnational challenges such as people smuggling, arms and narcotics trafficking, climate change, terrorism, and illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.

The Declaration also seeks to step up cooperation and capacity-building in regional and multilateral forums, including through Australian support for Prime Minister Modi’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative.

The signing of the Joint Declaration — accompanied by the parallel conclusion of bilateral defence arrangements — comes as part of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership agreed to by Prime Minister Morrison and Prime Minister Modi on 4 June 2020.

Expanded Australia-India cooperation on maritime safety and security will be marked in particular by building stronger links between coastguard and civil maritime agencies, and by developing deeper navy-to-navy engagement.

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