The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Retno L.P. Marsudi, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women of the Commonwealth of Australia, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Adaljiza Magno, held a virtual meeting on 15 December 2020 to discuss strengthening trilateral cooperation.
- Ministers took stock of the impacts of COVID-19 in our shared region and the challenges posed by the pandemic. Ministers discussed the importance of working together in support of the health security, economic recovery and stability of the region, including to ensure fair and equitable distribution of safe and affordable vaccines, and supporting vulnerable communities. Ministers also discussed ways to combat the rise of threats in cyber space including disinformation and misinformation in the context of the pandemic.
- Ministers resolved to broaden and deepen trilateral cooperation to maintain an Indo-Pacific that is open, inclusive and prosperous, where the rights of all states are respected, and where the sovereignty, territorial integrity, non-interference and political independence of each country is upheld. Ministers acknowledged Australia, Indonesia and Timor-Leste’s shared democratic values, and commitment to dialogue and cooperation, the rule of law, and development and prosperity for all.
- Ministers noted the work of the Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) on Trilateral Economic Cooperation and encouraged concrete activities and programs to be undertaken with a view to enhancing economic cooperation, particularly among the eastern region of Indonesia, Timor-Leste and the Northern Territory of Australia. These activities should be aimed at increasing connectivity, trade, investment, tourism, agriculture, fisheries and other areas of common interest.
- Ministers agreed on the need to work closely together to promote regional peace and stability in the context of geopolitical uncertainty, as well as underlining the importance of maritime connectivity between the three states. Ministers acknowledged their shared interests in maritime security, science and prosperity as maritime nations and neighbours. They underscored the importance of respecting and upholding the rules and norms and promoting peaceful settlement of disputes that underpin the stability of our region’s maritime domains, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. They agreed to increase trilateral cooperation to achieve mutual economic and security benefits such as increased trade connectivity in their shared maritime space.
- Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the centrality of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the region and ASEAN-led mechanisms and to strengthening their regional and multilateral cooperation, including in the four areas of cooperation under the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. Ministers noted the importance of Timor-Leste’s closer integration with the region and reaffirmed their strong and ongoing support for Timor-Leste’s application for ASEAN membership.
- Ministers noted the significance of Australia, Indonesia and Timor-Leste all having female Foreign Ministers and underlined their commitment to promoting gender equality and to advancing the agenda of women, peace and security in the region, including through strengthened global networks. Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to prioritising health, safety and economic outcomes for women and girls, especially as part of the COVID-19 recovery and building resilient societies. Ministers took the opportunity to acknowledge the 20th anniversary of the landmark United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Ministers promoted the increase in both the role and number of women personnel in UN peacekeeping missions in the future.