Papua New Guinea–Australia Ministerial Forum 2021
Australia and Papua New Guinea today held our 28th Papua New Guinea–Australia Ministerial Forum, continuing to advance the special partnership between our nations.
I co-chaired the virtual Forum with my counterpart, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the Hon Soroi Eoe MP, bringing together seven Australian Ministers and eight Papua New Guinea Ministers from across a wide range of portfolios that are vital to the relationship.
Ministers discussed priorities for implementing our Comprehensive Strategic and Economic Partnership, which was signed by our Prime Ministers in August 2020. We have a shared commitment to meeting current economic, development and security challenges, particularly those posed by COVID-19.
Australia and Papua New Guinea have a long and proud history of working together and Ministers welcomed our strong partnership in responding to the pandemic. Australia’s commitment to ensure the supply of vaccines and support for PNG’s national vaccination program was highlighted as critical to our shared objective of re-opening international borders, and normalising our business, trade, tourism, and education links with PNG.
We welcomed the fact that our close security partnership continued to grow in 2020 and 2021, despite the challenges of COVID-19. Ministers committed to deepening this partnership, including agreement for officials to start discussions on a bilateral security treaty, as agreed under the Comprehensive Strategic and Economic Partnership.
Ministers agreed on the priority of deepening cooperation on education and skills, financing, and expanding trade. We discussed the importance of critical infrastructure for PNG’s development, highlighting the $2 billion Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific, and our electrification partnership. Ministers agreed on a new $6 million package of biosecurity cooperation to assist Papua New Guinea in controlling animal disease.
The 28th Papua New Guinea-Australia Ministerial Forum communique is available here:
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