The Australian Government is committed to a new and elevated engagement with our Pacific island partners. A central element of the Prime Minister's Port Moresby Declaration of 6 March 2008 is the pursuit of 'Pacific Partnerships for Development' with Pacific island countries.
Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Australia signed the
PNG–Australia Partnership for Development in Niue on 20 August 2008. The Partnership heralds a new era of development cooperation that aims to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other PNG development priorities.
The Partnership provides a framework that allows Australia and Papua New Guinea to work together in close cooperation to meet common challenges and to achieve improved development outcomes and sustainable improvements in the quality of life of all Papua New Guineans.
Revised Partnership schedules were agreed at the 2011 Australia-PNG Ministerial Forum. These commit Australian and PNG support for the priority outcomes of the Partnership for Development, which are:
- faster progress towards universal basic education and improved access to quality education at basic, secondary, technical and tertiary education levels
- improving health outcomes by providing assistance for PNG to vaccinate more children, increase the percentage of births supervised by skilled staff, increase the availability of essential medical supplies and improve access to treatment for HIV/AIDS
- improved transport infrastructure to facilitate social development and economic growth by maintaining priority national roads and boosting airport safety
- improved safety and justice by supporting PNG’s law and justice agencies in the areas of policing, security, access to justice, reconciliation and reduced corruption.
Both the Australian and PNG Governments have committed to measuring performance and progress using a performance framework which draws on development and governance indicators from MDGs, PNG’s Medium Term Development Strategy Performance Management Framework and other internationally accepted measures of performance. This process will lead to a joint Partnership for Development report to Ministers, which will be considered at the annual bilateral Ministerial Forum.
The Partnership is implemented in association with the administrative arrangements set out in the bilateral Treaty on Development Cooperation (1999). Australia (led by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) and PNG are negotiating an economic cooperation treaty which will replace the Development Cooperation Treaty with an umbrella economic co-operation agreement. Provisions for development cooperation will be incorporated within the new Treaty.