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The Independent State of Papua New Guinea is a constitutional monarchy and Australia’s closest neighbour, with less than four kilometres separating it from Australia at the nearest point. Its capital, Port Moresby, is about an hour’s flying time from Cairns. Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, with over 800 languages and hundreds of indigenous ethnic groups.
On 10 May 2013, Prime Ministers Julia Gillard and Peter O'Neill signed the Joint Declaration for a New Papua New Guinea – Australia Partnership. The Declaration reflects the evolution of the bilateral relationship since 1987 when Prime Ministers Hawke and Wingti signed the Declaration of Principles. The 2013 Joint Declaration affirms both countries' commitment to deepening ties and to working together in the region.
Joint Declaration for a New Papua New Guinea-Australia Partnership
Full Circle: Australia and Papua New Guinea 1883-1970