Bilateral security treaty for Vanuatu and Australia

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop speaks to Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull before a bilateral meeting at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, June 25, 2018. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas/via REUTERS

CANBERRA, 26 JUNE 2018 (VANUATU DAILY POST) – Australian Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, and Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai have agreed on a number of significant bilateral assistance by Australia to Vanuatu.

Vanuatu’s Prime minister and his Australian counterpart have agreed to commence negotiations on a Bilateral Security Treaty on common security interests.

A $19.5 million (US$14.4 million) investment in education and $400,000 (US$296,000) to strengthen the capacity of Vanuatu’s Computer Emergency Response Team and develop Vanuatu’s cyber policy and legislation are also part of the package.

These were revealed in a statement issued by Australia’s Prime Minister’s Office during Prime minister Salwai’s official visit.

“It is my great pleasure to welcome the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Charlot Salwai to Australia,” Australia’s Prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull announced.

“Australia and Vanuatu share a long history of close cooperation and today Prime Minister Salwai and I reinforced our commitment to this deep and enduring economic and security partnership.

“We agreed to commence negotiations on a Bilateral Security Treaty on common security interests, such as humanitarian assistance and disaster response, maritime surveillance and border security, police and defence cooperation.”

“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.

“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.

“We are furthering our 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.”

Both PMs also agreed to deepen the 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,” PM Turnbull stated.

“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.

“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 said.

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