The Solomon Islands Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade hosted the annual 3rd Solomon Islands – Australia Bilateral Security Dialogue in Honiara on 30 October 2019.
Solomon Islands and Australia recognise the changing regional security environment and are working together, and alongside other partners, to take forward their shared vision for a more peaceful, prosperous, secure and sovereign Pacific region, including through the implementation of the Boe Declaration.
Both countries discussed defence and security cooperation and reaffirmed their commitment to advancing the priorities set out in the bilateral security treaty. They further discussed the next steps to deliver the new Border and Patrol Boat Outpost in Western Solomon Islands following the announcement by both Prime Ministers on 7 October.
Solomon Islands acknowledges the support offered by Australia towards the development and implementation of the Solomon Islands National Security Strategy and the National Border Security. Solomon Islands is further pleased with Australia’s assistance towards boosting border patrol, police and communications infrastructure.
Both countries recognise the gains attained in police in Solomon Islands post-RAMSI and committed to work together to maintain and sustain the achievements. Solomon Islands acknowledges Australia’s continuous support to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster response and other assistance of mutual importance.
Regarding Australia’s support to the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) through the Solomon Islands Police Development Programme, Solomon Islands acknowledges the support provided and will undertake a review by the 1st quarter of next year (2020) to ascertain the impact of the programme and where needed, seek further assistance to strengthen its capacity and capability.
The Dialogue also discussed the serious threats to Solomon Islands security posed by climate change and non-communicable disease (NCD). Solomon Islands acknowledges the offer by Australia to provide technical support through the World Health Organisation to implement priority policy and legislative reform activities from the Solomon Islands NCD Roadmap.
Solomon Islands and Australia agreed to enhance cooperation on cyber security to harness the benefits and manage the risks once the Coral Sea Cable comes into operation in early 2020, which will result in improved access to the internet.
As part of a field visit to observe security cooperation in western Solomon Islands, on 31 October, the two sides attended the official opening of the Coral Sea Cable Domestic Cable Landing Station at Noro, Western Province.