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Australia – United States Ministerial (AUSMIN) Consultations 2011 Joint Communiqué

15 September 2011

The US–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 US–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 US–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 US–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 US–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 USAustralia 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:

Japan

Republic of Korea

North Korea

China

India

Indonesia

Burma

Pacific Islands

South China Sea

Regional Architecture

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:

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:

Development

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:

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 region.

IV. Strengthening alliance cooperation

The US–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 non-traditional security challenges, and have decided to:

Space

Cyber

As a further reflection of our alliance’s continuing ability to adapt in the face of changing circumstances, we have decided to:

Force Posture

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 initiatives, including:

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 partners.

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.

Interoperability

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:

Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD)

V. AUSMIN 2012

Australia looks forward to hosting the 2012 AUSMIN consultations.