PNG-INDONESIA Border  Agreement to be endorsed after a decade

Thursday 16 March 2023

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon. Justin Tkatchenko  successfully led the Basic Border Agreement between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia after ten years, to its ratification process in Parliament yesterday (Wednesday 15 March 2023).

Minister Tkatchenko acknowledged Parliament for approving the Basic Border Agreement and expressed gratitude to fellow members of parliament who supported the submission by an absolute majority of 81 votes to zero.

“The ratification will pave the way for both governments to review the current status of the border and constructively address outstanding issues that affect both countries,” said Minister Tkatchenko.

“Once again this has been outstanding for about ten years and now that this has been approved we can now go into the process of reviewing any outstanding issues with our border between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea for a new agreement then to be signed afterwards that captures our shared border and sovereignty interests.”

“This is significant after a decade; we have finally got this basic border agreement approved by the overwhelming majority in Parliament,” Minister Tkatchenko said.

Minister Tkatchenko was in Bali last year for the 4th Archipelagic Islands State Ministerial Forum where he met Indonesian Foreign Minister Hon. Retno Marsudi to discuss and give assurance of the ratification of the now approved border agreement.

“It allows us to review the process of border arrangements and to look at the actual areas of border between PNG and Indonesia, customary and traditional land of PNG and its people, work on improving immigration and customs and economic benefits and trade arrangements between both our counties.”

He said now that this has been approved, Papua New Guinea is going to work with the Indonesian counterparts to review what needs to be updated and to consult and work with Indonesia to look at how both countries can improve the border issues for the benefit of both countries.

“The security of our borders with both our defence forces working together side by side doing joint border patrols is absolutely paramount to protecting both our countries’ sovereignties,” Minister Tkatchenko said.

He is determined to spearhead the ratification of The Defence Cooperation Agreement between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, another long outstanding bilateral agreement that has not seen any progress since 2010.

“Just like the basic border agreement, this Defence Cooperation Agreement with Indonesia is another long outstanding issue that has been sitting on the shelf for the past 13 years.”

Minister Tkatchenko is pleased to announce that the NEC submission for this agreement has been prepared after receiving legal clearance from The State Solicitor and he will present it to The National Executive Council when it convenes.

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