Joint Declaration on a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between Australia and the Republic of Indonesia

We, Indonesia and Australia, share a unique bond as neighbours at the maritime crossroads of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.  Our historical ties are deep – from Makassan seafarers trading with the Aboriginal peoples of northern Australia centuries ago, to Australia's support for Indonesia's quest for independence in the 1940s.  Today, we jointly celebrate twenty years of Reformasi in Indonesia, and our shared commitment to democracy and openness.  We have supported each other in times of adversity: through the bombings in Bali in 2002, the tsunami in Aceh in 2004 and the bushfires in Victoria in 2009. We celebrate, too, our multifaith, multicultural societies; and the value of unity in diversity.

Our contemporary relationship is based on extensive cooperation spanning political, economic, security, development, maritime, education and people-to-people ties.  We draw on the strengths of one another to create jobs and investment and raise living standards.  We collaborate to safeguard open sea-lanes, fight terrorism and deter transnational crime.  We continue to deepen ties between our societies and cultures.

We recognise that the ecosystem of peace, stability and security is fundamental to the economic growth and prosperity of our two countries.  In the dynamic region where we are situated, we experience shifts and challenges affecting our future: growing competition and the threats of conflict, mounting protectionism that erodes the foundations of global trade, and rising intolerance that threatens democratic norms and institutions.  If left unattended, these may lead to the dismantling of the precious ecosystem and rules-based regional architecture that we have built over the past half century.

Therefore, we are committed to a peaceful, prosperous and resilient Indo-Pacific region.  Our partnership reflects our vision of a region in which the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is central, the rights of all states are respected, and countries behave in accordance with international rules and norms.  We are committed to a region in which open markets facilitate the free flow of trade, capital and ideas. 

Today, reflecting our historic ties, our contemporary relationship, and our desire to work more closely together in the future, we commit to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.  A Partnership that draws on the strengths and opportunities of our two nations and that provides tangible benefit to our peoples, contributes towards the resolution of various current and future traditional and non-traditional challenges and contributes to strengthening the foundations and ecosystem that we and all the countries in the region have benefitted from.

We will be strong partners in a changing world.  We will seize this opportunity to energise our trade, investment and business relations, to advance our strategic cooperation, to forge deeper engagement between our communities and cultures and to build greater links between the young people of our countries.  We commit to work together towards a stronger, resilient and more flexible regional architecture in the Indo-Pacific region and contribute to resolving our shared regional and global challenges.

Our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership builds on the 2006 Lombok Treaty, a cornerstone of the relationship underscoring our support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, national unity and political independence of each nation.  We remain committed to consulting closely on key issues and working together on regional challenges.  We will be stronger if we tackle challenges together and look for opportunities to expand our institutional links.  Australia and Indonesia recommit to our bilateral engagement, including the Annual Leaders' Meeting, Annual 2+2 Foreign and Defence Ministers' Meeting and Ministerial Council on Law and Security. To complete the suite of our bilateral engagement, we encourage our economic-related ministers to meet on a regular basis.

Our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership will open a new chapter in our relationship.  It will provide our countries with a robust policy framework to both deepen existing cooperation and support new initiatives.  We will frame our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership around five broad pillars of cooperation.

Pillar One – Enhancing Economic and Development Partnership

We commit to work closely towards the implementation of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) to support deeper economic integration.  IA-CEPA will boost our bilateral links in trade, tourism, investment and the movement of people, as well as facilitate bilateral cooperation in areas including education, health and e-commerce.  We commit to support strengthening links between our business communities including between our micro, small and medium size enterprises in both the traditional and digital economy spaces.

We recognise the benefits of open markets and inclusive regional economic integration.  We acknowledge that IA-CEPA is a valuable step towards further advancing open markets and trade facilitation and that it provides a pathway for future inclusive regional economic integration.  With a view to promoting further regional integration, we commit to conclude negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Through our longstanding economic partnership for development we will cooperate to encourage sustainable and inclusive economic growth and stability; address poverty and inequality; promote women's leadership and empowerment; and guard against possible economic downturns.  Drawing on the proximity advantage enjoyed by the eastern part of Indonesia with the northern part of Australia, we will explore ways to further boost economic cooperation and connectivity between the two areas to accelerate growth and development including through expanding transportation links.

Pillar Two – Connecting People

Generations of Indonesians and Australians, particularly our students, have enjoyed the rich experience of getting to know each other.  We recognise that people-to-people links and contacts are critical to a strong bilateral relationship.  Therefore, we are determined to promote a contemporary view of Australia and Indonesia in our respective societies, through social, arts and cultural collaboration.  We commit to strengthen educational and academic cooperation between our two countries, particularly through the expansion and deepening of Indonesian and Australian studies as well as academic exchanges and joint research to promote innovation and find solutions to shared challenges.

Building bridges of cooperation connects our peoples, unlocks opportunities, and builds trust and understanding among our multicultural communities.  We commit to facilitate and promote interfaith and inter-communities' links through dialogue and collaboration. We further encourage deeper engagement, dialogue and collaboration between the media, think tanks and other elements of our civil societies.  We are committed to facilitate the ease of movement between Australia and Indonesia for our citizens to strengthen personal connections as well as social, business and people-to-people ties.

Pillar Three – Securing Our and the Region's Shared Interests

Indonesia and Australia enjoy a longstanding and productive security partnership, in particular between our law enforcement, intelligence, defence, legal and judiciary and other associated institutions.  We understand that peace, security and stability are indispensable conditions for growth and prosperity.

Therefore, we conduct our security cooperation in a spirit of friendship for our mutual interests and as a contribution to sub-regional, regional and global peace, security and stability.  We resolve to face together the shared challenges of rivalry and competition as well as the threats of terrorism, radicalism, extremism and transnational crime.  We commit to increase readiness to assist following a natural disaster and in confronting both traditional and new challenges such as cyber threats.

Australia and Indonesia reaffirm that, in accordance with the Lombok Treaty, consistent with our respective domestic laws and international obligations, we shall not in any manner support or participate in activities by any person or entity which constitutes a threat to the stability, sovereignty or territorial integrity of the other.

Pillar Four – Maritime Cooperation

As two countries sharing one of the longest maritime boundaries in the world, we recognise that effective and meaningful maritime cooperation will be critical.  Therefore, we are determined to implement the 2017 Joint Declaration on Maritime Cooperation and the 2018 Maritime Cooperation Plan of Action to the fullest towards the realisation of our shared vision of a peaceful, secure and stable maritime domain where people, commerce and the environment can flourish.  

We will continue to promote maritime trade and the sustainable development of the blue economy for our collective prosperity.  We will also work together in achieving maritime prosperity by combating transnational crimes committed at sea, and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; developing marine science and technology collaboration; as well as promoting our maritime cultural heritage.

Pillar Five – Contributing to Indo-Pacific Stability and Prosperity

Indonesia and Australia are located at a crossroad of two great oceans, the Indian and the Pacific Oceans. Our future lies in maintaining peace, security and stability while also ensuring growth and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. 

We commit to promoting a rules-based regional architecture that is open, transparent and inclusive, resilient to coercion, respects the norms and values of international law and incorporates habits of dialogue and diplomacy in the settlement of disputes.  With our partners in the Indo-Pacific region, we will continue emphasising ASEAN centrality and work through multilateral institutions, particularly the East Asia Summit, in pursuit of these goals.

We will work together, with other countries, and in multilateral institutions including the United Nations, G20, Asia Pacific Economic Community, Indian Ocean Rim Association and MIKTA.  We will strengthen our collaboration in responding to humanitarian crises in our region.  We will work together to address current and future challenges and promote the creation of new growth centres to ensure the sustainable growth and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.

To give effect to our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, we will jointly determine key areas of cooperation in line with these five priority pillars.  To maintain momentum, our Foreign Ministers will report to Leaders annually on progress.

31 August 2018


Last Updated: 31 August 2018