On May 22, 2023, the United States and Papua New Guinea concluded a Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA) and an Agreement Concerning Counter Illicit Transnational Maritime Activity Operations.
This DCA represents a natural progression in our decades of defense cooperation with Papua New Guinea. The agreement will modernize our security relationship and replace an outdated Status of Forces Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding regarding defense cooperation. The U.S.-PNG DCA will form the foundational framework around which our two countries will enhance security cooperation, further strengthen our bilateral relationship, improve the capacity of the PNG Defence Force, and increase stability and security in the region.
This DCA will facilitate bilateral and multilateral exercises and engagements in support of regional capacity building priorities. It also enables the United States to be more responsive in emergency situations, such as those involving humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
America’s close partnerships with like-minded democratic countries are a tremendous source of stability and strength. The DCA reflects the U.S. commitment to reinvigorate and modernize our democratic partnerships around the word to advance our shared security and prosperity.
The new Agreement Concerning Counter Illicit Transnational Maritime Activity Operations addresses a range of maritime threats including illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, drug trafficking, migrant smuggling, and illicit transport of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This agreement adds to the 11 existing agreements within the Pacific Island region and strengthens maritime governance and enforcement globally.
This new Agreement will enable PNG to participate in the U.S. Coast Guard’s Shiprider program, enhancing PNG’s organic enforcement capabilities, improving overall maritime domain awareness, and helping PNG protect its sovereignty.
This agreement will provide an expedited mechanism for obtaining flag State consent to board and search vessels reasonably suspected of illicit trafficking, as well as promote robust cooperation and information sharing between the United States and PNG. The signing of this agreement demonstrates a commitment to work together to promote good maritime governance in the region.
Together, we can deliver a strong, united response to actors that continue to engage in predatory behavior, as well as those who disregard territorial integrity and responsible and respectful use of marine resources.
For further information, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.