Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations Joint Communique 2001


1. The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, and the Minister for Defence, Peter Reith, the United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, met in Canberra on 30 July 2001 to advance further the Australia-United States alliance relationship, and to discuss regional and global issues.


2. Australia and the United States warmly welcomed the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the ANZUS Treaty. They agreed that the Treaty had made a highly significant and historic contribution to the fabric of peace in the Asia-Pacific region. The Treaty had provided a fundamental framework for the development of a remarkably close and productive relationship at all levels between the two countries and peoples, reflecting deeply shared values and interests.

3. Australia and the United States underlined the enduring relevance and vitality of the alliance as the cornerstone for the full range of cooperative activities undertaken by Australia and the United States in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Both governments agreed that the shared values and interests embodied in the ANZUS Treaty and the 1996 Sydney Statement should continue to underpin the Australia-United States partnership.


4. Australia welcomed the strong emphasis placed by the United States on the contribution of bilateral alliance relationships to the maintenance of regional security and stability. The United States congratulated Australia on the quality and range of its extensive engagement in the Asia Pacific. The two governments agreed that stable relationships among the major powers of the region, the spread of political and economic freedom, and the growth of democratic institutions, remained fundamental to advancing their national interests and values in the Asia Pacific.

5. Australia and the United States underscored the importance of Indonesia to the stability, security and prosperity of South East Asia, and reaffirmed their commitment to work with Indonesia for productive, mutually beneficial relationships. Australia and the United States reaffirmed their support for Indonesia's territorial integrity and for a peaceful solution to regional grievances, including the current special autonomy negotiations for Aceh and Irian Jaya. The two governments expressed their common resolve to continue to help Indonesia overcome its economic difficulties, including through assistance to strengthen governance and enhance social welfare.

6. Australia and the United States emphasised the importance of continued international support and assistance, including through the United Nations, to ensure a successful transition in East Timor. The two governments reaffirmed their strong commitment to sustain close Australia-United States cooperation in East Timor, particularly through the post-independence phase.

7. Australia congratulated the United States and Japan on the fiftieth anniversary of the United States-Japan security alliance, and welcomed the 30 June 2001 Joint Statement by President Bush and Prime Minister Koizumi as a further strengthening of the vitally important U.S.-Japan partnership. Both governments welcomed the Japanese Government's recently announced plan for economic, fiscal and structural reform, and agreed that continued implementation of policies to advance economic growth in Japan would have significant benefits, both economic and strategic, for the Asia Pacific.

8. Australia and the United States emphasised the importance of encouraging China's constructive role as a full member of the international community, and welcomed the prospect of China's early accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) under appropriate terms. Australia and the United States agreed to encourage both China and Taiwan to resolve their differences through a resumption of peaceful dialogue, and stated their firm belief that disputes should be settled without resort to any military force.

9. Australia and the United States underlined the importance of continuing international efforts to bring lasting peace and security to the Korean peninsula. The United States welcomed the restoration of diplomatic relations between Australia and the DPRK, and Australia welcomed the decision of the United States to re-commence dialogue with the DPRK, as important steps in encouraging greater DPRK engagement with the international community. Both governments called on the DPRK to continue high-level engagement with the Republic of Korea, and to take further steps to allay security concerns on the peninsula and in the region, particularly in regard to weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. Australia and the United States underscored the importance of full and timely implementation of the U.S.-DPRK Agreed Framework.

10. The two sides agreed on the importance of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in promoting and enhancing security dialogue in the Asia Pacific. Both governments welcomed the consolidation of the ARF's confidence-building work and expressed the hope that the Forum would continue to develop a preventive diplomacy capability.

11. The two governments affirmed their strong support for the commitment to democracy and good governance made by countries of the Pacific Islands Forum in October 2000 in the Biketawa Declaration. The United States welcomed Australia's efforts in promoting peace and disarmament in Bougainville and the Solomon Islands. Both governments expressed hope that the Fijian elections in August would lead to the restoration of constitutional democracy.


12. The United States welcomed the re-commitment to a robust strategic and defence posture and the funding commitment to the capabilities outlined in Australia's Defence White Paper. Australia welcomed the progress report by Secretary Rumsfeld on the United States' strategic and military reviews. Both sides noted that the changing strategic environment and the ongoing transformation of military technologies have implications for the alliance partnership, and reaffirmed the role of the alliance in this environment.

13. The two governments agreed that the enduring value of the defence relationship is based on a solid foundation of practical cooperation, and noted the coalition peace operation in East Timor as an example of where this cooperation continues to be particularly useful. Both sides noted the key role of U.S. regional engagement in maintaining security and stability in the Asia Pacific, and the contribution of the alliance to regional security.

14. Australia and the United States acknowledged the ongoing importance of intelligence cooperation and its contribution to the national interests of both countries. The two sides also agreed that interoperability remained a high priority, particularly in coalition peace and security operations. To this end, the principals commissioned a top-down review of interoperability, to be presented to the 2002 AUSMIN meeting.

15. Australia and the United States noted the ongoing importance of materiel cooperation, not only to interoperability, but also to capability development, technology transfer and through-life support of defence capabilities. Australia acknowledged the criticality of access to U.S. technology. The United States noted Australia's initiatives to incorporate a whole-of-life' approach to capability development. Both countries undertook to examine how materiel cooperation could be developed further.

16. The continuing development of cooperative arrangements to enhance the submarine capability of both countries, including the development of the Collins Class submarines, was welcomed by the two governments. The progress of a Navy-to-Navy Statement of Principles in matters relating to submarines, to be formalised next month, was noted and endorsed.

17. Australia and the United States reaffirmed the value of the AUSMIN Defence Acquisition Committee (ADAC) as the senior bilateral forum for cooperation on activities related to the acquisition, logistics and follow-on support of defence equipment. An initiative agreed at the 1999 ADAC meeting was completed today when Australia passed the Note in Reply' to the United States to finalise the Exchange of Notes on the ten-year extension of the Australia-United States Cooperative Defence Logistics Support Agreement.

18. In the spirit of further enhancing defence cooperation, both sides emphasised their respective commitments to a binding bilateral export control agreement that would furnish Australia withan exemption from most U.S. munitions licensing requirements of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.


19. Australia and the United States expressed shared concern about the threat to global strategic stability posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction and the need to deter these threats with a strategy that encompasses both offensive and defensive systems, continued nuclear arms reductions, and strengthened WMD and missile proliferation controls and counter-proliferation measures. They reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate closely in international missile non-proliferation efforts. Australia expressed its understanding of U.S. interest in developing missile defence and Australia and the United States agreed on the importance of continued and close U.S. consultations with allies and other interested parties, particularly Russia and China, as its plans developed. The United States expressed, and Australia welcomed, its intention to reach an understanding with Russia on a broader strategic framework, including moving beyond the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and wider cooperation between Russia and the United States to address problems of proliferation and to enhance strategic stability.

20. Australia and the United States agreed that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) continues to deliver significant security benefits to all nations. Both governments reaffirmed their determination to contribute to the implementation of the conclusions of the 2000 NPT Review Conference.

21. Australia reaffirmed its view that early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) would strengthen the global nuclear non-proliferation regime. Australia also welcomed the second CTBT Article XIV Conference to be held in New York in September to facilitate early entry into force of the Treaty. The United States advised Australia that it would maintain its moratorium on nuclear testing. Australia called on states that have not done so to sign the CTBT, and on signatories to ratify the Treaty promptly. The United States and Australia called on all states to refrain from conducting nuclear explosive tests. The United States and Australia agreed that, so long as the CTBT has not entered into force, existing moratoriums on nuclear testing should be maintained.

22. The two governments expressed disappointment that the continuing deadlock in the Conference on Disarmament (CD) is preventing a start on negotiation of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) to end the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. They urged all CD members to start FMCT negotiations without further delay.

23. Australia and the United States welcomed efforts to strengthen the effectiveness and improve the efficiency of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards and urged states yet to conclude an IAEA Additional Protocol to do so as quickly as possible.

24. Both governments underlined the threat to global security posed by the development and spread of biological and chemical weapons. While noting their differences concerning the negotiations for a protocol to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), both sides reiterated their commitment to the BWC and undertook to explore all effective options for preventing the proliferation of these heinous weapons. In reviewing progress in the field of chemical disarmament,the two governments expressed concern over the impact of problems within the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on its capacity to undertake its core non-proliferation activities. They agreed to continue to work together closely to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the OPCW.

25. Australia and the United States welcomed the Indian and Pakistani moratoriums on further nuclear testing, and encouraged India and Pakistan to take steps to become part of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.


26. Australia and the United States underlined the positive contribution that open trade and investment make to employment and growth in the global economy. They called for the launch of a new round of multilateral trade negotiations and agreed to continue to cooperate closely toward this end at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar, in November 2001. The two sides agreed on the utility of settling bilateral differences in accordance with WTO rules.

27. Both governments welcomed the impetus provided by the recent APEC Trade Ministers meeting for the launch of a new WTO round in 2001. Both sides reaffirmed their desire to ensure that the Shanghai Leaders meeting developed a comprehensive and vigorous forward agenda for APEC.

28. Australia and the United States,as already open and dynamic economies, reaffirmed their commitment to expanding their economicrelationship, including by reducing and eliminating barriers to trade, and to working closely together to address bilateral trade issues. They discussed Australia's proposal for a bilateral free trade agreement. They agreed to work together closely to explore avenues to advance their common free trade goals.


29. Both sides affirmed the enduring value of the annual Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations as the peak consultative body of the alliance partners. Australia accepted the U.S. offer to host the next round in the United States in 2002.


Last Updated: 24 January 2013
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