Joint Statement on the Seventh Indonesia-Australia Foreign and Defence Ministers 2+2 Meeting
Australian and Indonesian Foreign and Defence Ministers met for the Seventh 2+2 Meeting on 9 September 2021 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Consistent with the principles of the 2006 Lombok Treaty, Ministers met in a spirit of friendship and partnership to address shared challenges together. Reflecting on President Joko Widodo’s statement in his historic address to the Australian Parliament in February 2020 that “Indonesia and Australia must become the anchors for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region”, Ministers reaffirmed that Indonesia and Australia are stronger when seizing opportunities and tackling challenges together.
Ministers reiterated their commitment to deepen cooperation under the five pillars of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) announced by President Joko Widodo and Prime Minister Scott Morrison in 2018: our economic and development partnership, connecting people, securing our shared interests, maritime cooperation, and Indo‑Pacific stability and prosperity.
Ministers acknowledged the significant health, social, humanitarian, and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on their respective countries and the broader region, including the disproportionate impacts on women and girls. They expressed deep sympathy for the loss of life in both countries. Ministers emphasised that as neighbours, friends and Comprehensive Strategic Partners, Indonesia and Australia would continue to support each other through the crisis and as we work toward recovery.
Ministers shared concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on regional development and gender equality gains, straining institutions, testing resilience, compounding strategic risk, and thereby creating conditions that undermine the rules and norms that underpin regional stability and prosperity. Ministers underscored the importance of maintaining and promoting a stable, peaceful, prosperous, resilient and inclusive Indo-Pacific where the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plays a central and strategic role, and encourages countries to abide by international rules and norms.
Ministers highlighted the significant role of the bilateral defence relationship including in supporting regional security. Ministers welcomed the progress of cooperation between the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) in 2020 and 2021, despite the limitations imposed by COVID‑19. Ministers welcomed the growth of education and training linkages between the ADF and TNI and agreed Australia would host Indonesian cadets at Australian defence educational facilities.
Ministers reiterated their commitment to increasingly integrated, real world cooperation and greater interoperability. Defence Ministers signed a renewed Defence Cooperation Arrangement to support the growing operational complexity of our defence partnership.
Recovering from COVID-19 together
Ministers recognised the strong ongoing cooperation between Australia and Indonesia in response to COVID-19, including: collaboratively reshaping our bilateral development partnership to support Indonesia’s health, social, humanitarian and economic response; extending a AUD 1.5 billion loan to support Indonesia’s economic resilience; accelerating the roll-out and scaling support through the Australia Indonesia Health Security Partnership; and following the recent Delta surge providing important medical equipment and supplies and 2.5 million vaccine doses to Indonesia this year.
Ministers reiterated Australia’s and Indonesia’s commitment to supporting timely and equitable access to effective COVID-19 vaccines as part of a shared regional recovery, including through participation in the multilateral COVAX Facility. Ministers discussed the progress of the Australian Government’s regional Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative, which is providing support for effective vaccine doses and technical assistance to partners in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, including AUD 101.9 million for Indonesia.
Ministers discussed a range of the most pressing issues during the pandemic including limited medical diagnostic and therapeutic equipment, limited vaccine manufacturing capacity, access to vaccines, and shortage of skilled health workers. Therefore, Indonesia and Australia are committed to opening up opportunities for cooperation in the field of transfer of knowledge and technology to increase the capacity of and strengthen health systems and security at the national, regional and global levels.
Ministers noted that disinformation and misinformation in the context of a pandemic, including vaccines, can cost lives and contribute to fear and division when cooperation and unity are needed. Ministers agreed on the importance of countering disinformation and misinformation through facts and transparency.
Ministers noted the importance of open markets and predictable and non‑discriminatory trade and investment in promoting national and regional economic recovery efforts. They encouraged continued dialogue among all stakeholders to overcome any potential disruption to the flow of goods and services as well as to improve supply chain resilience. They strongly welcomed the foundation for recovery provided by the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) that entered into force in July 2020 and its Economic Cooperation Program ‘Katalis’.
Ministers noted the opportunities from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) signed by Australia, Indonesia and 13 other Indo-Pacific countries in November 2020.
Ministers welcomed the recent inaugural Economic, Trade and Investment Ministers’ Meeting and discussed further cooperation on the green economy and avenues for enhancing trade and investment links to support economic recovery.
Ministers looked forward to Indonesia’s G20 Presidency in 2022, highlighting the importance of the G20 in demonstrating global leadership in navigating the current crisis, as well as strengthening international collaboration towards an inclusive economic recovery. Australia reconfirmed its commitment to closely support and engage with Indonesia in the lead up to and during its G20 Presidency year.
Partnering in the region
Ministers agreed that Australia’s and Indonesia’s strategic outlooks continue to converge as both countries navigate a more contested Indo-Pacific region. Ministers reaffirmed the two countries’ shared interest in a stable, inclusive, open and resilient region, providing opportunities for economic growth and development, where sovereignty and international law are respected, and where adherence to rules and international norms deliver lasting peace.
Ministers emphasised the centrality of ASEAN and ASEAN-led architecture in underpinning regional stability, including the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting-Plus. Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and its practical implementation, guided by the principles of ASEAN centrality, openness, transparency, inclusivity, rules-based, good governance, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity, non-interference, and respect for international law.
Ministers underscored their concern regarding the dire situation in Myanmar, including the serious COVID-19 crisis, and its impact on regional stability. Ministers reiterated their call on the Myanmar military to cease violence against civilians and engage in dialogue. They welcomed the appointment of Brunei’s Foreign Minister II, Dato Erywan as Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair on Myanmar and called on the Myanmar military to engage meaningfully with the Special Envoy to support the full and timely implementation of the Five-Point Consensus on Myanmar agreed at the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting in Jakarta in April. Ministers commended the convening of the Pledging Conference to Support ASEAN’s Humanitarian Assistance to Myanmar as part of the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus, and emphasised their support for ASEAN’s humanitarian efforts in Myanmar through the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre). They also called for the release of all those arbitrarily detained including foreign detainees.
Ministers shared the view that our collective security and prosperity relies on our shared maritime domain in the Indian and Pacific oceans. Ministers emphasised Australia’s and Indonesia’s shared commitment to a rules-based maritime order, underpinned by adherence to international law, particularly the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Ministers expressed serious concerns about developments in the South China Sea and reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, security and stability, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the region. They underscored the importance of disputes being resolved peacefully in accordance with international law, particularly UNCLOS. Ministers also expressed their concern at the continued militarisation of disputed features and encouraged all parties to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities and avoid actions that may raise tensions.
Ministers noted the resumption of textual negotiations between ASEAN and China towards a Code of Conduct and the importance of any Code being effective, substantive, and fully consistent with international law, in particular UNCLOS; that it does not prejudice the interests of third parties or the rights of states under international law particularly UNCLOS; and that it supports existing, inclusive regional architecture.
Ministers reiterated their commitment to strengthening Australia and Indonesia’s long history of bilateral and regional maritime security cooperation including under the 2017 Joint Declaration on Maritime Cooperation and the 2018 Maritime Cooperation Plan of Action. Ministers committed to build on successful bilateral passage exercises and coordinated patrols conducted by the Royal Australian Navy and the Indonesian Navy (TNI‑AL). Ministers discussed opportunities for further practical cooperation including by enhancing information-sharing and supporting greater maritime domain awareness.
As islands and the countries that share the world’s longest maritime border, Ministers recognised the important role of marine activity to both countries’ economic recovery and development, and that of the region. They agreed to explore options for cooperation to support sustainable maritime related infrastructure development in Indonesia. Indonesian Ministers welcomed the upcoming handover of two Australian-funded maritime safety facilities in Jakarta; the Ship Safety Inspection Centre of Excellence (SSI-COE) and the Solid Bulk Cargoes Testing and Training Facility (SBC-TTF), which would continue to ensure that Indonesia’s maritime transport system is safe and efficient.
Ministers recognised the significant threat posed by marine debris to the region and welcomed the completion of the Australia-Indonesia Plastics Innovation Hub Blueprint. The project is a key milestone in the development of the CSIRO led initiative which will strengthen research and industry collaboration to develop solutions at scale, to end plastic waste for more resilient oceans.
Ministers acknowledged the importance of both countries achieving a successful low-emissions energy transition to support both their long-term energy security and to help reduce global emissions. Ministers agreed to explore how Australia could provide practical support to accelerate research, capacity building, knowledge sharing and investment in low emissions technologies in Indonesia. Ministers recognised the need for countries to work together on strong outcomes at COP26 in Glasgow, including on finalising the Paris Agreement rulebook on transparency and international carbon markets, and on issues of climate finance and adaptation.
Australian Ministers commended Indonesia’s leading role contributing to global peacekeeping efforts. Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to peacekeeping cooperation between the ADF and TNI and agreed Australia would provide 15 Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles to Indonesia to support Indonesia’s peacekeeping missions’ target plan.
Ministers committed to building on existing efforts to protect and promote the human rights of all women and girls, and increase the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women in peace and security processes through their respective National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security. This included enhancing collaboration under the Indonesian initiative - the South East Asian Network of Women Peace Negotiators and Mediators (SEANWPNM). Australian Ministers acknowledged Indonesia’s contribution to international peace and security through its 2019-20 membership of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), particularly on peacebuilding and Women, Peace and Security issues, including the first UNSC resolution focused on women in peacekeeping, UNSCR2538. Ministers agreed to explore opportunities to work together to strengthen and support the work of ASEAN on the WPS agenda.
Ministers closely monitor with concern the situation in Afghanistan. Recognising Indonesia’s constructive role in peace efforts in Afghanistan, Ministers conveyed the commitment of Indonesia and Australia to work with the international community on ways to encourage the Taliban to take an inclusive approach towards a sustainable political settlement. The governance model for Afghanistan must be representative and inclusive for all Afghans. They reiterated calls on the Taliban to meet its humanitarian responsibilities and respect all Afghans’ human rights. They agreed on the importance of maintaining and promoting women and girls’ rights, including meaningful participation in education, health, sports, employment and public life that are vital for peace and security in Afghanistan. Ministers also conveyed the importance of ensuring that Afghanistan not allow its territory to become a home for terrorist organisations, activities or support networks. They also remain alert to the broader security repercussions in the region and the world.
Ministers underscored Australia and Indonesia’s close partnership countering terrorism and violent extremism in our region. Ministers highlighted our mutually beneficial and effective operational cooperation, bilateral exercises and training. Ministers welcomed the signing of the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding on Counter Terrorism. Australia and Indonesia reaffirmed their commitment to work together closely to strengthen regional responses to the threat of terrorism, including through our leadership in regional and multilateral forums such as the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF). They looked forward to the publication of the GCTF Gender and Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) Policy Toolkit—developed under Australia and Indonesia’s Co-Chairing of the GCTF’s CVE Working Group—which will provide practical guidance on gender-sensitive approaches to P/CVE. Ministers also recognised the importance of the implementation of the ASEAN-Australia Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism, and underscored the need to support the implementation of ASEAN Plan of Action (PoA) to Prevent and Counter the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism 2018-2025 and its Bali PCRVE Work Plan 2019-2025.
Ministers emphasised the importance of strong cyber security cooperation, highlighting the bilateral Cyber Policy Dialogue that took place in September 2020. Ministers welcomed the signing of Memorandum of Understanding on Cyber and Emerging Cyber Technology Cooperation. Ministers emphasised the important role of an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful cyber space in driving economic growth, enhancing national security and fostering international stability.
Ministers recognised the value of working cooperatively with other regional partners and in multilateral forums. They committed to further strengthen trilateral cooperation with India, and Timor-Leste. Ministers acknowledged the importance of a stable and prosperous Pacific region and supporting Pacific Island countries to recover from COVID-19. They committed to enhanced trilateral cooperation with Pacific nations through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Trilateral Cooperation with the Pacific. Ministers also agreed to work together in the United Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), to address shared challenges and ensure these institutions are effective, open and transparent. Ministers agreed that the appointment of a strong and capable Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is key to its success.
Australian Ministers expressed appreciation to Indonesian Ministers for the warm hospitality in the organising of the Seventh 2+2 Meeting and looks forward to welcoming Indonesian Ministers to Australia for the next 2+2 Meeting at a time convenient for both sides.