Port Moresby Declaration

  1. The Government of Australia is committed to beginning a new era of cooperation with the island nations of the Pacific.
  2. Australia respects the independence of the island nations, and the diversity and complexity of development challenges across our shared region.
  3. Economic growth across the Pacific island nations, while improving in some, generally lags behind other developing regions. Progress towards the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals has been mixed.
  4. The Pacific has significant natural resources - minerals, timber and marine resources. Managing them wisely and sustainably is a challenge for the region.
  5. Australia and the Pacific island nations face a common challenge in climate change. Many of our Pacific neighbours, especially low lying atolls, are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including devastation from more frequent and severe extreme weather events.
  6. The Government of Australia is committed to working in close cooperation with the Pacific island nations to meet our common challenges and to raise the standard of living for people throughout the region.
  7. The Government of Australia proposes to pursue Pacific Partnerships for Development with our Pacific island neighbours. These Pacific Partnerships for Development will provide a new framework for Australia and the Pacific island nations to commit jointly to achieving shared goals.
  8. Under the Pacific Partnerships for Development, the Government of Australia will be prepared to provide increased development assistance over time in a spirit of mutual responsibility embracing commitments by the Pacific island nations to improve governance, to increase investment in economic infrastructure, and to achieve better outcomes in health and education.
  9. The Pacific Partnerships for Development will be a mechanism to provide better development outcomes for the Pacific Island nations. These Partnerships will embrace:
    • improving economic infrastructure and enhancing local employment possibilities through infrastructure and broad-based growth;
    • enhancing private sector development, including better access to microfinance;
    • achieving quality, universal basic education;
    • improving health outcomes through better access to basic health services; and
    • enhancing governance, including the role of civil society, and the role of non-government organisations in basic service delivery.
  10. Working jointly to help the Pacific island nations meet their Millennium Development Goals will also be a focus of the Partnerships.
  11. Australia will increase its practical cooperation with the Pacific island nations to meet the challenge of climate change and sustainable management of resources.
  12. Australia will make a direct contribution to education and training opportunities for citizens from the Pacific island nations - including through the enhancement of regional education institutions and a significant program of scholarships to study at Australian education institutions.
  13. Australia is also committed to linking the economies of the Pacific island nations to Australia and New Zealand and to the world, including through pursuing a region-wide free trade agreement and enhancing other private sector development opportunities. This will help to secure a sustainable and more prosperous future for the region.
  14. As we announced in Canberra on 27 February, the Governments of Australia and New Zealand will work more closely together and with our partners to coordinate our development assistance to the Pacific. Together, Australia and New Zealand provide around $1 billion of development assistance to the region. By working together we can improve the impact of our development assistance and provide better results for the people of the Pacific islands.
  15. Australia will also work to increase its cooperation with other donor countries and organisations, and international financial institutions such as the World Bank, including through more coordinated delivery of development assistance programs across the region and joint programs where feasible.
  16. Australia is committed to close and strong relationships with our Pacific neighbours and with regional organisations, particularly the Pacific Islands Forum. We are also committed to fostering stronger linkages between Australian, national and regional institutions.
  17. Australia’s relationships in the region already have considerable depth - across people-to-people links, economics and trade, and government cooperation. But Australia wants a new era of cooperation to begin. The Government of Australia is committed to working with the Pacific island nations on the basis of partnership, mutual respect and mutual responsibility.
  18. Australia proposes that, progressively over the course of the coming years, we negotiate Pacific Partnerships for Development with those of our Pacific neighbours that share this vision.
  19. Australia believes that, with long-term commitment and by working towards agreed goals, we will be able to build strong, stable nations in a more prosperous region.
  20. Australia believes that the Millennium Development Goals agreed by the international community at the United Nations Millennium Conference in 2000, provide an appropriate framework for developing nations world-wide, including in our region. At the mid-point, progress towards the Millennium Development Goals has been mixed. Australia wants to reach a common resolve with the island nations of the Pacific to strive towards greater success against the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

More information

Tracking Development and Governance in the Pacific

 

Last Updated: 4 November 2014