PNG Ministerial Forum, December 2012
Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator Bob Carr, and the Hon Rimbink Pato, PNG Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, co-hosted the 21st Papua New Guinea – Australia Ministerial Forum held in Port Moresby on 6 December 2012.
At the ministerial forum, ministers confirmed priorities for Australian aid which are agreed, implemented, and annually reviewed with the Government of PNG through the Annual Partnership Dialogue.
The forum also provided an opportunity for the ministers to reaffirm their commitment to agreed priorities and targets in education, heath, transport and law and justice schedules to the PNG Australia Partnership for Development.
Ministers acknowledged achievements under Australia’s aid program and endorsed the Partnership for Development as the foundation for the development relationship. Ministers also endorsed priorities and targets agreed at the Annual Partnership Dialogue talks in October.
Other outcomes of the forum related to the development program include:
• Ministers welcomed PNG’s transition to an Independent Health Procurement Authority by January 2015 with support from Australia, with delegated procurement arrangements to be established in the interim.
• Both countries agreed to work together over the next year to ensure that the Strongim Gavman Program is responsive to PNG needs and well aligned to the PNG Government’s current priorities.
• Both countries committed to continuing to work together to improve law and justice systems and to enhance the rule of law in PNG, building on the longstanding history of cooperation and collaboration on a range of legal and security issues.
• Outcomes of the recent Torres Strait Joint Advisory Council (JAC) meeting were welcomed, including joint work in support of health and other initiatives in PNG’s Western Province, including efforts to manage tuberculosis effectively. Minister Carr also announced a further commitment of $20 million to tackle TB in PNG.
• Ministers acknowledged the positive contribution to development that sports initiatives can make and welcomed the new AusAID-funded rugby league program ($4 million) which will be rolled out in 2013 under the Pacific Sports Partnership.
Read the full Ministerial Forum communique [external website].
Funding the fight against TB in PNG