Minister for Foreign Affairs Kevin Rudd, Minister for Defence Stephen Smith,
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
met in Melbourne on 8 November 2010 for the annual Australia-US Ministerial
The talks marked the 25th anniversary of AUSMIN and the 70th anniversary of the
establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The 2010 AUSMIN confirmed the enduring value of the Australia-US Alliance and its
adaptability in meeting contemporary and evolving strategic challenges.
Australia and the United States reaffirmed their shared commitment to the
international effort in Afghanistan.
Australia and the United States reaffirmed that strengthened architecture in the Asia-
Pacific region is fundamental to security and economic prosperity. Both countries
welcomed the expansion of the East Asia Summit (EAS), to include the participation
of the United States from 2011. The United States welcomed Australia's leading role
as an advocate for strengthened regional institutions, and for a more significant role
for the EAS.
Recognising that strong cooperative mechanisms in the Asia-Pacific region are
fundamental to global stability and prosperity, Australia and the United States
pledged to collaborate further on regional security matters, including through bilateral
consultations on the US Global Force Posture Review and by enhancing their
bilateral dialogue on East Asia.
Australia and the United States are committed to working together to help shape
international norms to advance vital shared interests in the domains of sea, airspace
and outer space as well as to advance important matters related to cybersecurity.
Australia and the United States reaffirmed their shared commitment to the
international effort in Afghanistan to prevent Afghanistan from ever again becoming a
safe haven for terrorists and violent extremists.
They honoured the sacrifices of Australian and US military forces in Afghanistan.
Australia and the United States endorsed the International Security Assistance Force
(ISAF) strategy and underlined the importance of endorsing a credible, conditions-
based transition plan at the NATO / ISAF Leaders' Summit in Lisbon in November
that would enable the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) to progressively
assume responsibility for security in Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
Australia and the United States welcomed each other's additional civilian and military
contributions for Afghanistan since the last AUSMIN. Both countries appreciated
their close cooperation through Combined Team Uruzgan to build a stronger security
environment in Uruzgan Province.
Both countries affirmed the importance of close cooperation to decrease the threat to
our military forces from Improvised Explosive Devises (IEDs).
Both countries reaffirmed their support for concrete action by the Afghan government
to combat corruption and strengthen government institutions that provide services
and create opportunities for Afghan citizens.
Australia and the United States acknowledged the strategic importance of Pakistan
to South Asia's regional stability and reinforced their long-term commitment to
support Pakistan as a partner in its efforts to achieve a democratic, stable and
prosperous future. They reaffirmed the importance of continued, close cooperation
with Pakistan to confront terrorism and militant extremism.
Australia and the United States welcomed the 15 October 2010 Friends of
Democratic Pakistan (FODP) meeting's agreement on steps to support Pakistan's
longer-term economic renewal.
Australia and the United States will continue to cooperate globally to combat
terrorism, bilaterally and in partnership with other countries and institutions. Both
countries welcomed the efforts of countries in Southeast Asia to confront terrorism,
and committed to continue to cooperate closely with them.
Both countries hope to begin discussions in the near future regarding an Arms Trade
Treaty to strengthen barriers to illicit arms trade.
Australia and the United States reaffirmed their goal of a world free of nuclear
weapons. Both countries pledged to advance the actions agreed at the 2010
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, to press for negotiations on a
verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, and to progress work on nuclear security.
The United States welcomed Australia's initiative, with Japan, to establish a cross-
regional group of nations dedicated to advancing nuclear non-proliferation and
disarmament. Australia welcomed confirmation by the United States of its intent to
pursue ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Both countries
welcomed the outcome of the Terrorist Financing Conference they co-hosted under
the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism in Kazakhstan in September 2010.
Australia and the United States committed to strengthening the Proliferation Security
Initiative (PSI), and welcomed increased engagement with the PSI in the Asia-Pacific
Australia and the United States reiterated their deep concern over Iran's continuing
failure to comply with UN Security Council and IAEA Board of Governors' resolutions
on its nuclear activities.
They reaffirmed their commitment to the full implementation of UNSCR 1929.
A central priority for both countries is Iran's compliance with its international
obligations on its nuclear and missile programs. They urged Iran to grasp the
opportunity to engage constructively with the P5+1 at talks later this month, to
remove doubt about Iran's nuclear intentions. They noted with concern the
deteriorating human rights situation in Iran and called on Iran to meet its international
human rights obligations.
Australia expressed strong support for US-led efforts to achieve a just and enduring
peace in the Middle East based on a two-state solution. Australia and the United
States urged the Israelis and Palestinians to seize the opportunity for peace by
continuing, as a matter of urgency, direct talks, with the goal of reaching agreement
on final status issues within one year, and to refrain from any actions, including
settlement activity, which undermined trust and the climate for negotiations.
Both countries reaffirmed their commitment to Palestinian institution building in
preparation for statehood and called on all parties, particularly regional countries, to
support these efforts through financial and other tangible assistance.
Australia and the United States underlined their support for the 2005 Sudanese
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), including the referenda on self-
determination for Southern Sudan and Abyei scheduled for 9 January 2011. Both
countries recognised the importance of fair and credible referenda and affirmed their
shared determination to ensure a peaceful resolution of issues surrounding the CPA
21st Century Security Challenges
Building upon a long history of defence space cooperation, Australia and the United
States signed a Space Situational Awareness Partnership Statement of Principles,
which should enable further close cooperation on space surveillance to the benefit of
Australia and the United States shared a deep concern about the increasingly
interdependent, congested, and contested nature of outer space and acknowledged
that preventing behaviours that could result in mishaps, misperceptions or mistrust
was a high priority. Australia welcomed the US decision, reflected in the June 2010
US National Space Policy, to consider space arms control measures that are
equitable, verifiable and in its and its allies' national interests. Australia intends to
work with the United States to progress their shared goal of enhanced space
security, with a particular focus on transparency and confidence-building measures.
The two Governments endorsed a Joint Statement on Space Security highlighting
their shared views and resolve to cooperate with like-minded countries to ensure free
and safe access to space.
sing the increasing sophistication of threats against both countries in
cyberspace, Australia and the United States intend to promote a secure, resilient and
trusted cyberspace that assures safe and secure access for all nations. Both
countries recognised the benefits to be derived from enhanced collaboration when
operating and defending mutual national interests in cyberspace, including shared
defence and economic interests. Both countries committed to work together to
advance the development of shared international norms for cyberspace.
Global Economy and International Development
Australia and the United States are committed to cooperate with other G20 countries
to achieve secure, strong, sustainable and balanced economic growth including
through the G20's Framework and its development agenda. They welcomed the
agreements reached by G20 Finance Ministers in Gyeongju on reform of the
international financial system and the IMF. Australia and the United States pledged
to implement as quickly as possible the agreed IMF quota reform.
Australia and the United States underlined their commitment to the Millennium
Development Goals. The strategic partnership on international development
cooperation between AusAID and USAID will combine the efforts of both countries to
foster stability, security and prosperity in developing regions and countries. Together
they will strive for effective outcomes in priority areas: maternal and child health and
family planning: food security and agricultural research; climate change and natural
resource management; and cooperation on stabilisation, reconstruction and
development in Afghanistan.
Australia and the United States agreed on the importance of civil-military
collaboration in conflict, disaster management, stabilisation and counter-insurgency
operations, in conflict prevention strategies and in strengthening the UN's capacity to
conduct peacekeeping operations.
Regional Challenges and Opportunities
Both countries underlined the significance of strong regional architecture to achieve
security and economic prosperity. Australia welcomed US membership in the East
Asia Summit (EAS) starting in 2011. The United States thanked Australia for its
leadership and advocacy to strengthen regional institutions. Both countries
recognised the EAS as a key regional leaders' meeting with a broad mandate to
cooperate on a range of political, security and economic challenges, and they looked
forward to the development of the EAS's agenda.
Australia and the United States reaffirmed their commitment to APEC as a
mechanism for embracing a 21st century economic agenda in the Asia-Pacific
region. Australia looks forward to working closely with the United States in its 2011
APEC host year.
They welcomed the inaugural ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus as a further
component of strengthened regional architecture.
Australia and the United States expressed a common national interest in peace and
stability, freedom of navigation, respect for international law, unimpeded lawful
commerce, and application of the provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the
Sea. They affirmed the need for peaceful resolution of regional maritime territorial
disputes, including in the South China Sea and the East China Sea. They supported
negotiation of a more formal, binding Code of Conduct for the South China Sea.
Australia and the United States resolved to elevate Australia-US dialogue on East
Australia and the United States reaffirmed Japan's key role in regional and
international security and intend to strengthen further the Trilateral Strategic
Dialogue and Security and Defence Cooperation Forum.
Both Australia and the United States acknowledged the important and constructive
role played by the Republic of Korea in the Asia-Pacific region. They condemned
the sinking of the South Korean naval ship, the Cheonan, and called on all regional
parties to support peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. Australia and the
United States called on North Korea to end provocations and to work sincerely
towards the goal of the verifiable denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula in a
Australia and the United States share the goal of seeking a positive, cooperative
relationship with China on regional economic development and common security
concerns as well as on addressing global challenges.
Australia and the United States commended Indonesia's continued gains in
strengthening its democracy and countering terrorist groups, and emphasised the
significance of both countries' strategic and comprehensive partnerships with
Australia and the United States welcomed India's growing global role and noted their
commitment to work closely with India to enhance security and prosperity in South
Asia and the Indian Ocean region.
Australia and the United States underlined their deep regret that the Burmese
authorities failed to hold free, fair and genuinely inclusive elections on 7 November.
Both countries urged Burma's leaders to ensure that post-election institutions be
transparent, accountable and responsive to their citizens' aspirations. They called
on the Burmese authorities to release without delay or conditions Aung San Suu Kyi
and all political prisoners, respect basic human rights, and begin genuine dialogue
toward national reconciliation.
Both countries viewed maritime law enforcement, particularly protection of fish
stocks, as a major security challenge for the Southwest Pacific. Australia welcomed
the US commitment to enhance maritime surveillance and enforcement capacity
through its shiprider agreements with Pacific Island Countries, and reaffirmed
Australia's active support for negotiations for a multilateral Niue Treaty Subsidiary
Agreement on fisheries surveillance cooperation and law enforcement between
Forum Fisheries Agency members. Both countries committed to build on these
initiatives to strengthen the management of the Southwest Pacific's fisheries
resources and deliver equitable and sustainable outcomes for Pacific Island
Australia and the United States confirmed their support for steps that would hasten
the restoration of democratic institutions and the rule of law in Fiji. Both countries
emphasised that the commencement of genuine, inclusive political dialogue in Fiji,
without preconditions or predetermined outcomes, as called for by Leaders at the
Pacific Islands Forum, is a necessary first step. They noted the continuation of the
Public Emergency Regulations and their negative impact on human rights in Fiji.
Australia welcomed the US Global Force Posture Review and recognised its
importance in positioning the United States for future security challenges, including
in the Asia-Pacific. Australia and the United States resolved to work collaboratively
on their force postures in the Asia-Pacific and continue to work with regional partners
to maintain a stable and secure region.
Australia welcomed the February 2010 US Ballistic Missile Defence Review, which
re-focused US missile defence efforts on regional strategies to meet the more
immediate challenge of missile threats from certain states, in particular the DPRK
and Iran. Australia noted the United States' focus on sustaining and enhancing the
US military's ability to defend the US homeland against attack by a small number of
long-range ballistic missiles. Australia and the United States confirmed that these
regional missile defence strategies would not undermine the deterrent effect of the
strategic balance between the major nuclear powers.
The United States welcomed Australia's program of capability development outlined
in the White Paper, and Australia noted the importance of technology and materiel
exchanges in meeting these capability goals.
Australia welcomed the recent passage of the Defence Trade Cooperation Treaty
through the US Congress and intends to make all efforts to secure early passage of
implementing legislation and ratification. Both countries recognised the value of the
Treaty in streamlining and enhancing the defence trade relationship and discussed
the way forward in practical implementation of the treaty in government and industry
Australia and the United States noted the exchange of letters on the Full Knowledge
and Concurrence arrangements for Naval Communication Station Harold E Holt,
preparing for ratification of the 2008 Agreement setting out the terms and conditions
for the joint use of the Station for the next 25 years.
Acknowledging the success of combined Exercise Talisman Sabre in developing the
interoperability of the Australian Defence Force and US military, both countries
intend to continue to work together to improve the efficiency and efficacy of the
biosecurity arrangements associated with the exercise.
Next AUSMIN Consultations
The United States offered to host the next AUSMIN Consultations in 2011.
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