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The U.S.-Australia alliance is an anchor of stability, security
and prosperity in the world
Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN)
2011 Joint Communiqué
Office of the Spokesperson
San Francisco, CA
September 15, 2011
The U.S.-Australia alliance is an anchor of stability, security
and prosperity in the world. Forged by our shared sacrifice during
the Second World War and affirmed in the midst of the Cold War,
our alliance has succeeded in adapting and innovating to face
the new challenges of the 21st Century. Our shared values, our
commitment to democracy and the rule of law, and the natural
friendship between our peoples form the foundation of a proud
and deep relationship between our two great nations. Our service
men and women have fought side-by-side in every major conflict
since the First World War and continue that storied tradition
today in Afghanistan. And while the bonds of the U.S.-Australia
alliance were forged in the defining battles of the past century,
that is but one dimension of a multi-faceted relationship. Today,
our diplomats work together to address emerging transnational
challenges, to advance and support human rights, democracy, the
rule of law and fundamental freedoms around the world, and to
shape the evolving architecture of the Asia-Pacific that will
provide a context for the region’s continued dramatic growth
and rise. Our aid workers help empower those on the margins of
society from the Mekong to the Horn of Africa.
We come to San Francisco to celebrate the 60th anniversary of
the U.S.-Australia alliance. It is fitting that we return to
the Presidio, where our countries signed the ANZUS Treaty six
decades ago. We meet to reflect on the rich history of our relationship,
to honor the leaders whose foresight and vision forged this alliance,
and to chart a course for the future of our enduring partnership
that underscores and situates the U.S.-Australia alliance as
an anchor of the Asia-Pacific. We reaffirm our shared security
obligations, underscore our common approach to regional developments
and global security, and stress our resolve to increase future
cooperation to address common strategic objectives.
I. Shared Security Obligations
We reaffirm that the ANZUS Treaty serves as the political and
legal foundation of the U.S.-Australia security alliance and
that the alliance remains indispensible to the security of Australia
and the United States and to the peace, stability, and prosperity
of the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Today, we affirm that
our commitment to peace, security and prosperity also acknowledges
the importance of promoting a secure, resilient and trusted cyberspace
that ensures safe and reliable access for all nations.
II. Regional trends in the Asia-Pacific Region
We underscore the growing importance of the Asia-Pacific region.
The U.S.-Australia alliance is key to peace and security in the
region, further fostering Asia’s tremendous economic growth.
We recognize the need to work together to shape the evolving
strategic landscape that connects the Indian and the Pacific
Oceans. We value the dialogue on East Asia undertaken by our
two governments, and express a joint commitment to continue this
and other strategic dialogues. In this context, we have decided
on the following shared objectives to guide our countries’ ongoing
cooperative and individual work in the Asia-Pacific:
- Support the U.S.-Japan alliance, which is critical to peace
and security in East Asia, and the developing Australia-Japan
defense and security relationship, and take steps to further
increase interoperability and training opportunities among
the three countries.
- Enhance trilateral policy coordination
among Australia, Japan,
and the United States on a range of regional and global
security issues through the Trilateral
Strategic Dialogue and the trilateral Security and Defense Cooperation
- Strengthen coordination with Japan on regional and global
development and assistance efforts.
Republic of Korea:
- Continue to work closely with the Republic of Korea (ROK)
on defense and security issues, including international peacekeeping
operations, anti-piracy, counter-proliferation, counter-terrorism,
and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
- Work closely
with the ROK to ensure stability on the Korean
Peninsula and deter further provocations by North Korea.
- Continue to urge North Korea to improve inter-Korean relations
and regional stability by demonstrating through concrete actions
that it is committed to enter into serious negotiations through
the Six-Party process.
- Deter provocations by North Korea through
enhanced training and integration with the Republic of Korea
- Work to implement the goals of a complete, and
verifiable denuclearization of North Korea, including its
program, through irreversible
steps, and through the Six Party process; resolution of issues related
to proliferation, ballistic missiles, illicit activities,
and humanitarian concerns, including
the matter of abductions by North Korea; and full implementation of UN
Security Council resolutions and the September 2005 Joint
Statement of the Six-Party
- Welcome the emergence of a stable, peaceful and prosperous
China that plays a constructive role in Asian and global affairs.
to build a positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship
with China aimed at expanding cooperation on regional and
global challenges, while constructively
- Pursue fair, balanced and mutually beneficial economic
relations with China, recognizing that such engagement also
contributes to the maintenance of
stable and constructive relations more broadly.
- Encourage stable, healthy,
reliable and continuous military-to-military relations with
China, featuring open, transparent and substantive discussions
- Enhance trust and confidence through greater dialogue
on strategic security issues.
- Welcome India’s engagement with East Asia as part
of its ‘Look East’ policy.
- Deepen strategic ties
- Identify areas of potential cooperation between
the United States, Australia and India, including maritime
disaster risk management and regional
- Build on our enhanced coordination and our respective strategic
consultations with Indonesia on a range of political, economic,
and security issues, as well as on climate change and education.
through our respective partnerships with Indonesia to strengthen
defense and security cooperation and in particular,
enhance coordination on humanitarian
assistance and disaster relief, international peacekeeping, anti-piracy efforts,
maritime security, and counterterrorist activities.
- Support Indonesia’s
important role as 2011 ASEAN Chair and assist in preparations for a productive
East Asia Summit (EAS) in November.
- Promote human rights and genuine steps toward democracy
in Burma in the interest of lasting peace and stability in
- Welcome reform promises by President Thein Sein
the Government of Burma to translate these promises into
- Urge the Government of Burma to make concrete progress
on core concerns including the release of all political prisoners,
cessation of violence against ethnic
minorities, and the establishment of a process of dialogue with ethnic groups
and opposition leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi, in order to begin a genuine
process of national reconciliation.
- To this end, acknowledge the August 19
meeting between President Thein Sein and Aung San Suu Kyi as
a first step in the right direction.
- Underscore the importance
of Burma’s fully complying
with all its international obligations, including UN Security
Council Resolutions on nonproliferation
and highlight the need for greater transparency in Burma’s engagement
with North Korea.
- Affirm our enduring commitment to work together to play
a constructive role in the Pacific.
- Continue and expand joint
efforts to strengthen democracy,
support economic reform, enhance good governance, encourage
environmental sustainability and address the impacts of climate
partnership with the governments and people of Pacific Island
- Support the protection of the region’s fisheries,
enhance maritime monitoring, control, surveillance and enforcement
and build on existing initiatives to strengthen management of
fisheries resources and to deliver equitable and sustainable
outcomes for Pacific Island countries.
- Coordinate closely on encouraging
Fiji’s early return
to democracy, including through restoration of the rule of law,
strengthening of civil society, and rebuilding democratic institutions.
with the Pacific Islands Forum, the Secretariat for the Pacific
Community, and other regional bodies to strengthen regional
cooperation and deliver results for the people of the Pacific.
South China Sea:
- Reiterate that the United States and Australia, along with
the international community, have a national interest in freedom
of navigation, the maintenance of peace and stability, respect
for international law, and unimpeded lawful commerce in the
South China Sea.
- Reaffirm that we do not take a position on
the competing territorial
claims in the South China Sea and call on governments to clarify
and pursue their territorial claims and accompanying maritime
rights in accordance with international law, including the
Law of the Sea Convention.
- Reaffirm that the United States and
Australia support the 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration on the
Conduct of Parties in the South
China Sea and encourage each of the parties to comply with
their commitments, including exercising self-restraint and
their disputes through peaceful means, and to make progress
towards a binding code of conduct.
- Reiterate that we oppose
the use of coercion or force to advance the claims of any
party or interfere with legitimate economic
- Strengthen regional architecture to maintain and enhance
peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific.
- Work toward a successful
2011 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation
(APEC) forum under U.S. leadership, which will accelerate APEC’s
strong momentum, advancing free trade and economic integration
across the region.
- Reiterate the importance of the EAS, whose
mandate, membership and agenda establish a framework for cooperation
on a range of
- Welcome Australia’s leadership role in building
a more robust community in the Asia-Pacific region through
- Use this year’s leaders’ meeting in Indonesia
to set the direction for the expanded EAS and engage in substantive
discussions in Bali on November 19 on regional political, economic,
strategic, and other issues.
- Build close links between the EAS
and other ASEAN-centered ministerial-level forums such as
the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).
- Welcome the establishment of
the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting
Plus (ADMM-Plus) as an important element of regional architecture
and contributor to regional security and stability.
- Work towards
a successful conclusion of the current Trans-Pacific Partnership
(TPP) negotiations in order to expand trade, investment
and growth among the nine TPP parties, including the United
States and Australia, and drive further regional economic integration.
III. JOINTLY CONFRONTING GLOBAL SECURITY ISSUES
We share a common approach to global issues, including Afghanistan,
Pakistan, Iran, the Middle East, and Libya.
Afghanistan and Pakistan:
We recognize the achievements and honor the sacrifices of our
armed forces in Afghanistan, welcome the successes of the military
campaign, and have decided to:
- Continue close cooperation on our common goal of a stable,
prosperous and peaceful Afghanistan embedded in a stable, prosperous
and peaceful region.
- Support the transition to Afghan-led security
responsibility while committing to long-term engagement to
stability and economic development.
- Support and engage Pakistan
in its efforts to combat terrorism, strengthen democracy
and promote economic development.
- Promote security, trade and
investment in the region, stressing the importance of the upcoming
Istanbul and Bonn conferences
and the vision for a “New Silk Road.”
Middle East / North Africa:
We reaffirm the importance of continued assistance and support
to encourage the democratic transitions taking place across the
Middle East. We have decided to:
- Reaffirm that we are in full agreement about the urgent
need to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians
strongly support the vision of Israeli-Palestinian peace outlined
by President Barack Obama in May 2011. We strongly appeal to
the parties to overcome the current obstacles and resume direct
bilateral negotiations without delay or preconditions.
full implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions on Iran,
while jointly addressing Iran’s deteriorating
human rights situation.
- Reiterate our call for Syrian President
Assad to step aside and allow for a democratic transition
to take place in Syria.
- Work with the Libyan Transitional National
Council and international community to support the Libyan
people as they confront the challenges
of a post-Qadhafi Libya, and encourage an inclusive transition
that leads to a democratic Libya.
We stress that international development assistance is critical
to our diplomatic and national security interests, as it fosters
stability, security and prosperity in developing regions and
countries. Recognizing this, we have decided to:
- Continue to strengthen the partnership between AusAID and
USAID, which was formalized last year through a Memorandum
on international development cooperation.
- Delegate cooperation
agreements between USAID and AusAID in Tanzania, on maternal
and child health and family planning, and
in Indonesia, on water connections.
- Continue cooperating closely
in Afghanistan by supporting law and justice programs and
dispute resolution mechanisms at the
community level in Uruzgan Province, and by assisting the Government
to deliver essential services through the Civilian Technical
- Plan to deploy Australian Civilian Corps
personnel alongside U.S. Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction
personnel to support conflict resolution and stabilization
in South Sudan.
- Develop opportunities for collaboration in East
Asia, particularly in the lower Mekong region, to advance
food security, mitigate
HIV and other pandemic diseases, and address the impact of
global climate change.
We reaffirm our shared commitment to addressing global development
challenges including gender inequality and violence against women.
Empowering and protecting women and girls requires strong, coordinated
action by the international community. As an example of our shared
commitment, Australia and the United States are co-hosting a
policy dialogue this year on effective means to combat gender-based
violence and promote the empowerment of women across the Pacific
IV. STRENGTHENING ALLIANCE COOPERATION
The U.S.-Australia alliance is a strategic anchor for peace
and stability in the Asia-Pacific and beyond. On the 60th anniversary
of the signing of the ANZUS Treaty, we approve of measures designed
to further strengthen alliance cooperation, interoperability,
and capabilities. We affirm the ANZUS Treaty and our shared commitment
to advance peace, security, and prosperity. We are concerned
by evolving threats in the sea, space, and cyberspace, and nontraditional
security challenges, and have decided to:
Increase coordination and consultation on the evolving strategic
environment in the Asia-Pacific, to ensure that the alliance
adapts to address challenges as they arise.
- We endeavor to expand our close cooperation on space situational
awareness and the development of transparency and confidence-building
- We support the efforts to develop a U.S.-Australia
Combined Communications Partnership, building on the Military
Statement of Principles signed at AUSMIN in 2008.
As a further reflection of our alliance’s continuing ability
to adapt in the face of changing circumstances, we have decided
- Address the growing cyber threats facing our two nations
and the wider international community.
- Endorse a joint statement,
reflecting and enhancing the close
collaboration between our two nations on cyber issues.
Last year, we established a bilateral working group to develop
options to align our respective force postures in ways that would
benefit the national security of both countries and which will
help us to shape the emerging regional security environment.
Together, we have refined and assessed a range of potential cooperative
- options for increased U.S. access to Australian training,
exercise and test ranges;
- the prepositioning of U.S. equipment
- options for greater use by the United States
of Australian facilities and ports; and
- options for joint
and combined activities in the region.
Our discussions have acknowledged that our respective military
forces must be postured to respond in a timely and effective
way to the range of contingencies that may arise in our region,
including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and to
enhance our ability to work with the armed forces of regional
We are satisfied with the progress that has been made and have
directed that the options be further developed for consideration
by our respective Governments.
We underscore that interoperability has long been a hallmark
of the alliance and will only grow stronger through closer alliance
cooperation. The implementation of the Defense Trade Cooperation
Treaty will support this cooperation. We have decided to:
- Enhance the interoperability of our forces, especially as
this relates to our common commitment to cooperation on combat
transport aircraft, helicopters, submarine combat systems and
- Build on the expanded civilian component
of the successful TALISMAN SABER exercise, our largest and
most important combined
military exercise, to strengthen interoperability
and our combined capacity to deal with post-conflict stabilization and
Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD)
- Australia noted and will continue to consult with the United
States as it develops the phased adaptive approach to BMD outlined
in the U.S. BMD Review, which will allow missile defense to
be adapted to the threats unique to the Asia-Pacific.
- We are
continuing our cooperation to build a more detailed
understanding of regional ballistic missile threats; cooperative
research on systems to counter
such threats; and options for practical cooperation in this area.
V. AUSMIN 2012
Australia looks forward to hosting the 2012 AUSMIN consultations.
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