JAKARTA, 25 May 2019 – ASEAN and Australia discussed a range of initiatives and activities to further deepen their strategic partnership during the 9th ASEAN-Australia Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) Meeting held at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta on 24 May.

The meeting took stock of the Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Statement for ASEAN-Australia Strategic Partnership (2015-2019), and looked forward to the finalisation of a new five-year Plan of Action with the aim of making the partnership even more substantive.

Australia reiterated its continued support for ASEAN Centrality in the evolving regional architecture as well as in ASEAN Community building efforts. Noting that 2019 marks the 45th anniversary of ASEAN-Australia Dialogue Relations, ASEAN expressed its appreciation to Australia for the longstanding partnership and deepening of cooperation in support of ASEAN Community building and integration.

Both sides exchanged views on the future direction of ASEAN-Australia Dialogue Relations and noted the importance of enhancing cooperation in areas of mutual interest, such as counter trafficking, maritime security, digital trade standards, people-to-people exchanges, education, and disaster management.

ASEAN also welcomed Australia’s new public diplomacy programme titled “Australia Now” which was launched earlier this year, as well as other initiatives such as a new South East Asia economic governance and infrastructure package, a new programme to strengthen support to ASEAN on maritime issues, and a new phase of the Mekong Water Resource Programme.

The JCC meeting was co-chaired by Ambassador Dato’ Shariffah Norhana Syed Mustaffa, Permanent Representative of Malaysia to ASEAN, and Ambassador Jane Duke, Australia Ambassador to ASEAN. It was attended by the Permanent Representatives of ASEAN Member States or their representatives as well as the ASEAN Secretariat and the Australian Mission to ASEAN.