SI Holds First Security Dialogue With Australia

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The first Bilateral Security Dialogue between Australia and Solomon Islands was held at the Paul Tovua Complex, National Parliament precinct, Honiara on Wednesday 17 May 2017.

The Solomon Islands delegation was led by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Mr Peter Kenilorea Jr. The delegation comprised key senior officials from the Office of Prime Minister & Cabinet, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & External Trade, Ministry of Police, National Security & Correctional Services, Ministry of Fisheries & Marine Resources, Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock, Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, Immigration Division, Customs & Excise Division, Attorney General’s Chamber, National Disaster Management Office and the Financial Intelligence Unit.

Australia’s delegation was led by the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ms Penny Williams and the Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Mr Rod Brazier and senior officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Office of National Assessments, Department of Defence, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, the Attorney-General’s Department and Australian Federal Police also participated in the Australian delegation.

The Security Dialogue reaffirmed the close cooperation between Solomon Islands and Australia on global and security matters. The Dialogue was established by both countries to reinforce their strong and enduring security partnership. Officials recognised the strong bonds and foundations of close cooperation between the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) built over the years; and strengthened during the 13-years of working together in the Regional Assistance Mission in Solomon Islands (RAMSI). Australia reaffirmed its commitment to Solomon Islands’ stability and security and to continuing to support the RSIPF after RAMSI’s departure on 30 June.

As neighbours, Australia and Solomon Islands share a range of regional security challenges. Officials valued the opportunity to discuss for the first time our joint understanding of these challenges. Officials shared views and information on issues of mutual strategic and security interest such as illegal fishing, maritime security, border protection, bio-security, cyber-security, law enforcement and transnational crime. Officials identified challenges faced by Solomon Islands and highlighted opportunities for even closer cooperation going forward. Officials also discussed mechanisms for further strengthening cooperation and coordination between national security and law enforcement agencies in Australia and Solomon Islands.

Officials agreed that the second Australia-Solomon Islands Security Dialogue will take place in Australia in 2018.