Southwest Pacific Dialogue (SwPD) has become a forum for dialogue for Australia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Timor Leste to exchange views and information on various important issues in the region.
SwPD Ministerial Meeting (PTM) is held once a year with rotating hosts. In the beginning, the location is among one of the cities in a member country or in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Since 2004, SwPD PTM is always held on the sidelines of the Session of ASEAN Ministerial Meeting / Post Ministerial Conference and ASEAN Regional Forum (AMM / PMC and ARF).
SwPD PTM has been held eight times, namely: in Jogjakarta (host: Indonesia), October 5, 2002; in New York (host: New Zealand), September 27, 2003; in Adelaide (host: Australia), December 3, 2004; in Kuala Lumpur (host: Indonesia), July 26, 2006; in Manila (host: the Philippines), July 31, 2007; at Singapore (host: East Timor), July 22, 2008; in Phuket (host: PNG), July 21, 2009; in Hanoi (host: New Zealand), July 23, 2010.
People-to-people contact among SwPD countries become a major area of cooperation which is the focus of Indonesia. Through the activities of Cultural and Educational Cooperation and Interfaith Dialogue, Indonesia tried to do a Confidence Building Measure (CBM) with the society of SwPD member countries.
Several collaborative people-to-people contacts that are routinely offered by Indonesia to SwPD member states are:
- The Indonesian Art and Culture Scholarship
- Journalist Visit Program
- The Dharmasiswa and the Developing Countries Partnership Scholarship
- Diplomatic Training Course for Diplomats
- The Indonesian Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries Programme
SwPD’s last PTM, namely the 8th was held in Hanoi, Vietnam, July 23, 2010 on the sidelines of the 43rd AMM meeting/PMC/the 17th ARF, with New Zealand acting as host. SwPD’s PTM this time re-generates the outcome of the Joint Media Statement which includes discussion of issues that are important to the region.
The meeting discussed the agenda of Exchange of Views on Development in the Region and SwPD Cooperation. Under the agenda, meeting to discuss: (i) The condition of Fiji and constructive engagement towards Fiji (ii) exploitation of tuna in the waters of restricted areas and sustainable fisheries as a way to go (iii) the Bali Process as an attempt to overcome the problem of the People smuggling and Irregular Migration in the region (v) Maritime Security and (vi) Counter Terrorism
In the meeting, Indonesia had the opportunity to share the 'Matrix Capacity Building Programs from Indonesia for SwPD Countries (2009 - 2011) which contains a variety of programs as a contribution of Indonesia to SwPD countries. Indonesia also managed to get approval to include a paragraph at the Joint Media Statement of the 'connectivity' which is based on the thinking about the need for connectivity between the countries of SwPD as a complement to ASEAN Connectivity.In the PTM, the foreign ministers also agreed to hold the 9th SwPD Ministerial Meeting with Australia acting as host, on the sidelines of the implementation of the 43rd AMM / PMC and the 18th ARF held in July 2011 in Bali, Indonesia.