Excellencies; distinguished delegates.

It is a pleasure to speak at the second annual Global Multi-stakeholder SIDS Partnership Dialogue. 

Our region, the Indo-Pacific, is home to many Small Island Developing States, many of which are also Least Developed Countries.

Some of these countries have marine jurisdictions that are thousands of times larger than their land mass, which offers particular challenges but also great opportunities.

The Pacific Ocean Alliance is an open-ended voluntary partnership that recognises the breadth of interests and perspectives essential to effective management of our ocean.

Australia is a partner in the Alliance and supports the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner to coordinate the many ocean interests in the region.

We recognise the importance of Sustainable Development Goal 14, and in particular target 14.7, to developing opportunity, livelihoods and security in Small Island Developing States. 

Defining jurisdictional rights is an important first step towards deriving economic benefit from the ocean and its resources.

To this end, Australia is working with the Pacific Community and our Pacific neighbours to implement UNCLOS by providing technical and legal support for maritime boundary delimitation.

This partnership with the Pacific Community has been long-standing and has led to approximately two-thirds of the shared boundaries in the Pacific Islands region being lodged with the UN.

I am pleased to announce today that Australia will commit a further A$2 million to support this partnership for three more years, to facilitate technical resolution of remaining boundaries. 

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing poses a significant threat to revenue and jobs in Pacific Island Countries, with an estimated illegal catch value in the Pacific of US$616 million per annum in 2016.

The Pacific Islands, through the Forum Fisheries Agency, leads the world in regional monitoring, control and surveillance approaches, including through the Agency's Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement.

Australia is partnering with Pacific Island Countries to build capacity to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

This includes A$2 billion over 30 years to build physical capacity, including replacement patrol boats and a new aircraft, and A$4.4 million over 4 years to build legal and technical capacity for cooperative surveillance and enforcement activities as envisaged under the Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement.

Australia is committed to healthy and productive partnerships that contribute to implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14.

Thank you.

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