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The prime ministers of the two countries met face to face in Canberra for annual talks on security and cooperation.
The prime ministers of Australia and Papua New Guinea had a face-to-face meeting in Canberra on 2 February, recommitting each country to cooperation and partnership on a range of topics.
As well as discussing military cooperation and working together to combat climate change, the two leaders also discussed cyber security.
Prime Ministers Anthony Albanese and James Marape discussed the bilateral security arrangements between the two countries, noting that “non-traditional security” concerns such as “climate change, cyber security, gender-based violence and critical infrastructure” were all covered by the Bilateral Security Agreement the two countries signed in December 2023.
Marape also welcomed the scaling up of the $100 million Australia-Papua New Guinea Law and Justice Partnership, which will be extended into 2027.
“Leaders also welcomed enhanced cooperation on cyber security, including the ability to deploy Pacific Cyber Rapid Assistance for Pacific Incidents and Disasters (RAPID) teams in the event of a cyber security incident at the request of Papua New Guinea,” the pair of leaders said in a joint statement.
The federal government announced the RAPID program in November 2023 as part of its 2023-2030 Cyber Security Strategy. The RAPID teams are led by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and are made up of experts from government agencies and the private sector. The aim is to have a team of experts that can deploy to respond to cyber security emergencies throughout the Pacific region.
“We have listened to the priorities and requests from our partners in the Pacific and south-east Asia,” said Minister for International Development and the Pacific Pat Conroy at the time.
“The Cyber RAPID teams and support to build long-term resilience in the Pacific will provide critical support and demonstrate that partners in our region can rely on Australia to respond to their needs.”