Strengthening Australia’s partnership with Vanuatu

The leaders of Australia and Vanuatu have agreed to commence negotiations on a Bilateral Security Treaty on common security interests.

These interests include humanitarian assistance and disaster response, maritime surveillance and border security, police and defence cooperation.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull issued a statement today welcoming his Vanuatu counterpart Charlot Salwai to Canberra for an official visit.

“Australia will provide technical assistance to support Vanuatu to develop its first National Security Strategy. This strategy will support Vanuatu’s vision for a ‘stable, sustainable and prosperous Vanuatu’, in line with its National Sustainable Development Plan,” Turnbull said.

“We agreed to enhance official police-to-police cooperation. Australia will provide assistance to recruit and train 200 new police officers by 2020, to refurbish the existing Police College in Port Vila and to support executive leadership capacity in the Vanuatu Police Force.”

Australia will further their cyber security partnership with $400,000 in support to strengthen the capacity of Vanuatu’s Computer Emergency Response Team and develop Vanuatu’s cyber policy and legislation.

“We also agreed to deepen our cooperation on labour mobility. This will increase employment opportunities for Vanuatu’s workers in Australia and help fill critical labour gaps in Australia’s rural and regional areas,” Turnbull said.

“Lastly, we will continue our long-standing support for Vanuatu’s education sector with up to $19.5 million to promote better education outcomes for ni-Vanuatu boys and girls. The funding package will help improve school enrolment, literacy and numeracy rates, strengthen teacher training, provide scholarships and develop and roll out a new curriculum.”

Turnbull acknowledged that Vanuatu is one of Australia’s key partners in the Pacific.

“I look forward to continuing our work together to foster stability and prosperity through the implementation of Australia’s stepped-up engagement in the region,” he added.


Photo Twitter/ PM&C


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