Enhancing Security Cooperation with Indonesia

The Treaty provides a strong overarching framework for strengthening security cooperation by encouraging greater collaboration in areas such as defence, law enforcement, counter-terrorism, maritime security and emergency preparedness. To take this cooperation forward, officials will develop an action plan on jointly agreed priorities.

(Media-Newswire.com) – In Perth today, Indonesian Foreign Minister Dr Hassan Wirajuda and I exchanged notes to bring into force the Australia-Indonesia Framework for Security Cooperation (the Lombok Treaty).

The Treaty provides a strong overarching framework for strengthening security cooperation by encouraging greater collaboration in areas such as defence, law enforcement, counter-terrorism, maritime security and emergency preparedness. To take this cooperation forward, officials will develop an action plan on jointly agreed priorities.

As a practical demonstration of our shared commitment to enhance security cooperation, Dr Wirajuda and I also agreed to renew for a further three years the Memorandum of Understanding between Australia and Indonesia on Combating International Terrorism and we agreed to institute new counter-terrorism consultations at officials-level to underpin and enhance our ongoing bilateral counter-terrorism cooperation.

Another critical issue on which Australia and Indonesia are cooperating is to halt and then reverse the spread of HIV by 2015. I am pleased to announce today that in 2008 Australia will commence a new program with Indonesia, to give people with HIV, or at risk of contracting HIV, better access to essential treatment and prevention.

Australia will spend approximately $40 million on the HIV Cooperation Program for Indonesia to help vulnerable groups in Indonesia. Specific assistance will also be provided to Papua and West Papua where the rate of HIV amongst adults risks becoming the highest in Asia. The HIV Cooperation Program is part of a $100 million commitment over eight years to tackle HIV.

Another important part of our development partnership with Indonesia is the $355 million Basic Education Program. This program will assist Indonesia achieve its goal of providing nine years of compulsory universal education to Indonesian students through the construction of 2000 new or expanded junior secondary schools. Over 900 schools funded by the program will be operating by the start of the new school year in July this year.

Education plays an important role in fostering greater understanding and links between Australia and Indonesia. Today, Dr Wirajuda and I will visit a Bahasa Indonesia class at a secondary school in my Perth electorate, Chisholm Catholic College.

I look forward to working together with Dr Wirajuda to ensure the relationship continues to strengthen and prosper.

Media inquiries: Mr Smith’s office 02 6277 7500 – Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555

Source: media-newswire

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