FOREIGN MINISTER RUDD: Well, good afternoon and good evening, ladies and
gentlemen. First of all, on behalf of the Australian Government, can I say
how welcome Secretary of State Clinton is to Australia? You are not only
well known in our country, Hillary, I believe you're well loved in our
country. And it's good to have you here, good to have you here in
Melbourne, which is one of our finest cities and also a city where General
Douglas MacArthur came to after he left temporarily the Philippines way
back in the early 1940s. So it has a strong American connection with this
Of course, we are here to participate in the 25th AUSMIN and the 25th
AUSMIN goes to the heart of our alliance with the United States which now
goes back to 1951 ANZUS Treaty signed in that year building on, in turn, a
diplomatic relationship which we established some 70 years ago this year.
That's why Secretary Clinton and I today have issued the Melbourne
statement on the alliance which we share and it is a statement which
commemorates, therefore, this 70 years of a strong and close diplomatic
If you look at the text of the Melbourne Statement, it goes not just to the
interests that we have in common, but critically the values that we share
as two democracies across the Pacific, values also we share in support of
open economies across the Pacific and across the world, the values we also
share in the defence of basic human rights and the principles of democracy
across the wider human family.
I've been asked recently by many Australians on this trip, "What's this
alliance with the United States ultimately all about?" The way I put it is
this: There are friends that you have who stick with you over a long period
of time whether or not the times are tough or whether those times are good.
That's very much the Australia-U.S. relationship. We've been together in
every major conflict throughout the history of the 20th century and some of
those have been very difficult and very hard and very bloody. But the core
principle is alive that this friendship has not only endured for such a
long period of time, it is a friendship which has stood the test of time
because we have been there for each other in good times and in bad and that
is the mark of true friendship.
Further, today the Secretary of State and I have issued a joint statement
on cooperation which we've now embraced on dealing with the scourge of
violence across women across the world. Globally, around 30 percent of
women and girls experience physical or sexual violence during their
lifetime. And this becomes, of course, much higher in conflict zones. We
believe as democracies and believes in fundamental human rights that we've
got a responsibility not just to observe this, not just to be concerned
about it, but to act on it.
And that is why Australia and the United States will work fully with UN
Women, the new created organization under the leadership of former Chilean
President Michelle Bachelet in taking this mission forward. Australia will
provide 14.5 million to UN Women over the next two years with this specific
objective in mind: how to reduce globally the scourge of violence and
sexual violence against women with a particular emphasis on our own region
here in Asia and the Pacific. This is the sort of practical stuff we do as
friends, as allies as well, which is about people whose lives can be
improved by the common actions of friends who are committed to such deep
So again, Secretary, welcome to Melbourne. Welcome to Australia. We honor
you as a friend. We honour you as a representative of the United States of
America, a country which is held in the highest regard in this country,
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Kevin, and it is a great treat for me
to be here in Melbourne, my first visit to this city. And I appreciate
greatly your very gracious words about the longstanding friendship between
our two countries. On behalf of the United States, we deeply value and
respect that friendship and the many contributions that Australia has made
and is making and will make to the pursuit of common goals and values that
are really at the core of that enduring friendship.
As the foreign minister noted in his opening remarks, this marks the 70th
anniversary of formal diplomatic relations. Our relationship continues to
be a strategic anchor of security and prosperity in this region and beyond
and our countries are working very closely together. The Melbourne
Statement reflects that level of cooperation and it touches on the many
areas where we are involved together.
One critical issue is the role of regional institutions. The foreign
minister has been a consistent advocate and a leading voice for
strengthening the regional architecture in the Asia Pacific, including the
United States engagement in the East Asia Summit, ASEAN, and other
institutions. And I want to thank him publicly here in Australia for doing
a lot of the most important thinking about how the Asia Pacific region
needs to be organized and the role that the United States must play in that
The foreign minister is also very knowledgeable about China and he has been
extremely helpful to the United States in our efforts to build a positive,
cooperative, and comprehensive relationship with China as it rises on the
global stage. Tomorrow I will meet with the prime minister to discuss a
range of issues, including our joint efforts on nuclear non-proliferation,
human rights, and so much else.
I will also be looking forward to speaking at the university about how the
United States and Australia can build on and adapt our alliance to the 21st
century. On Monday, the foreign minister and I will participate in the
Australia-United States Ministerial, the so-called AUSMIN. Together with my
colleague, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Australian Defence Minister
Stephen Smith. There we will discuss a full range of issues, including
joint efforts in Afghanistan, cyber security, counter terrorism, the
peaceful use of outer space, and again, so much more.
We are also working together to fight poverty and spur development in
countries nearby here in this region and beyond. Along with defence and
diplomacy, development is the third pillar of America's foreign policy. We
call them the three Ds. And I particularly appreciate the foreign
minister's commitments on development that he just referenced.
And I especially welcome Australia's partnership in reducing violence
against women and girls in the Pacific region and beyond. When women are
not protected, it undermines families, communities, and even nations. It
also means they are more likely to contract sexually transmitted diseases
including HIV. High rates of gender-based violence can contribute to the
high rates of HIV among women. That's why next year the United States will
double our funding to fight HIV/AIDS in Papua New Guinea to $5 million.
In addition, we are working together to reduce hunger and improve food
security. We are stepping up efforts to develop new strains of rice that
will yield more food with less water and perform better in heat and
drought. We will continue to support the International Rice Research
Institute and other programs to help sustain Asia's food production in the
face of growing population and climate change. This work is just one
outcome of the commitment our two development agencies made this summer to
extend our cooperation. And so I want to commend Australia on its recent
decision to contribute $50 million to the Global Agriculture and Food
Security Program. It will have a concrete set of benefits for people in
need. Just this week that program announced a new round of grants that will
help small holder farmers in Ethiopia, Niger, and Mongolia grow more food
and increase their incomes.
Now, all of these projects are evidence of the generosity and drive for
results that our two countries share. We want to make sure that our efforts
actually help people improve their lives in concrete ways. And as we build
on our decades-long friendship and alliance, I am confident that we will be
able to do far more together than either of us could do alone.
So again, Minister Rudd, thank you for your partnership and friendship and
I look forward to a very productive visit.
FOREIGN MINISTER RUDD: Okay, folks. Now, some questions. Can I put to you
to begin with?
QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. Rudd. Secretary, I wonder if can address my
questions to you. With regards to AUSMIN -- and there are several parts to
this question -- is it already a done deal that we see a major escalation
in military cooperation between the two countries? That's what it was
referred to in the newspaper today. What will that look like, do you see?
And do these discussions include a multi (inaudible) with U.S. (inaudible)
in Exmouth in Western Australia? Will that be on the table at AUSMIN?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me start by saying that the United States and
Australia have cooperated closely in military and defence matters for many
years, really since the beginning of our diplomatic relations and we have a
long history of setting forth missions and goals that we then consult and
agree upon the appropriate ways to proceed. I think it's going to be an
issue of discussion at AUSMIN about the cooperation going forward on a
range of matters, as I said, including space, cyber security, and so much
The United States is engaged in this process from both the foreign ministry
and the defence ministry perspective, but I am not going to prejudge the
outcome of our discussions which are truly ongoing. AUSMIN represents a
point on a spectrum, because these conversations never stop about what is
needed. But certainly if you look at the Asia Pacific region right now and
a lot of the small island nations that Australia plays such a role in
working with, there are needs for more disaster preparedness and response
that we believe the United States and Australia are particularly well
suited to work through together and then with other partners.
So this is an ongoing conversation that's been going on for years and it
includes all of the potential opportunities for working together. Maybe
Kevin would like to add something.
FOREIGN MINISTER RUDD: Well, the Secretary is right. We've been talking
about our defence cooperation with each other and wider security policy
cooperation literally for decades. It's an ongoing process. It's nothing
particularly remarkable and that occurs at this AUSMIN on that front. But
the second point is that we in Australia, as I've said many times before,
welcome the U.S. making a greater use of our ports, of our facilities, of
training facilities, of our test firing ranges. That's what alliances are
all about. And that's been the case for decades past; it will be the case
for decades in the future.
The U.S., of course, is engaged in its own analysis of its own future force
posture. We will input to that over time. That's the right thing to do as
an ally and a friend and our American friends have been keen to hear our
views on that. But this is, as the Secretary just said, an ongoing dialogue
between us, a dialogue which occurs in an atmosphere of friendship and
trust built up over a long, long time. Now, could I have a question from
one of our friends from the American press?
QUESTION: Secretary Clinton, you made reference in your opening statement
to Prime Minister (inaudible) on China. What more do you think Australia
can do to try to (inaudible) affording more rules-based and less aggressive
stance towards its neighbours. And also on China, you said toward the
beginning of your trip that he (inaudible) all countries needed to develop
diversified supplies of rare earth minerals. Australia is well known for
its mining companies (inaudible). Is there anything the two governments
could do to try to promote that kind of investment or should that just be
(inaudible) free market.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Arshad, those are two very good and very important
questions. I am looking forward to discussing at length over the next two
close days with the foreign minister his assessment of China's current
thinking. He just returned from yet another visit to China.
We obviously share the view that we want to see China's rise be successful,
bringing benefits to the Chinese people, but to take on greater
responsibility and a rules-based approach toward all of its neighbours. We
are discussing that within ASEAN and the ASEAN regional forum, as you know,
when it comes to maritime security and freedom of navigation. And I look
forward to hearing from the foreign minister the reflections he has and the
recommendations that he will make to us.
I think one area where we do need to discuss in depth is the supply of
rare-earth minerals throughout the world. The slow-down, or the potential
of the supply coming from China, which is about 97 percent of the currently
available supply of rare-earth minerals, raised questions in many of our
minds that it is not -- whether it is China or anyone else -- wise to be so
dependent upon a single source for elements that are critical to many of
the most advanced civilian and military technology that countries like
Australia and the United States produce and utilize.
Australia already does produce such elements, and I am aware that the
United States also has the potential for producing more, as do other
nations. And I am sure that we will discuss, in the context of AUSMIN,
since it does have direct military and defence pertinence, how best we can
work together to ensure that there is a broad-based global supply of these
QUESTION: Obviously (inaudible), but is there anything you're planning to
do or see (inaudible) here in Melbourne? And perhaps you can tell
FOREIGN MINISTER RUDD: And you're from a Melbourne newspaper, are you?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Only a fair question. Now, you might recall that when
Kevin visited me last in Washington, he promised that we would have some
fun in Melbourne. So I am very much looking forward to that. I have long
wanted to visit this city because, looking around this room, I am probably
one of -- if not the -- longest standing living person here.
And I remember well watching the Olympics in 1956 from Melbourne. It was my
first time that I was consciously aware of this magnificent quadrennial
sporting event and, even as a little girl, was entranced by the beauty of
this city and, obviously, I know its well-deserved reputation as the
sporting capital of Australia.
I can say that the President is a very big sports fan, as well as quite
active athlete. So I have no announcements to make, but I am going to be
sure to brief him on the many enticing and interesting attributes of
FOREIGN MINISTER RUDD: And we Australians honour our word. So we said we
would offer the Secretary a good time in Melbourne. And between myself and
Stephen Smith and the prime minister, I am sure we will.
By the way, we pointed out from the hotel window the MCG, where the 1956
Olympics were held, and (inaudible) our American friends again.
QUESTION: If I could just interrupt --
FOREIGN MINISTER RUDD: Yes, sure.
QUESTION: Given the enormous strains on the U.S. budget, and the enormous
military operation in Afghanistan and Iraq, do you think the United States
can continue to have the kind of military presence in the Asian Pacific
region that you would like, in light of (inaudible)? And perhaps you're
mentioning offering U.S. more bases and facilities to ease those pressures.
FOREIGN MINISTER RUDD: The short answer to the first part of your question
is yes. And I say that, based on the strength and depth and breadth of this
security relationship, which has gone on for decades and decades. As I
said, partly in response to an earlier question, we are not simply dealing
with something new today. Our security circumstances since 1951 are being
constantly evolving. And each generation of leaders who have had
custodianship of this alliance have adjusted it to contemporary
circumstances. And that is our mission statement for the future, as well.
Secondly, I fully understand that running such formidable military assets
as the United States has worldwide is a cost to the U.S. taxpayer. It costs
a lot of money. And I understand that because in government we have had to
frame our own defence budgets, and nothing comes cheap. I understand that
really well. But what I also know is America is a global power. And
America, across the world, remains and continues to be an overwhelming
force for good in the world.
What does that mean in practice? One of the things it means in practice is
being a force for the continuing strategic stability of our world and our
region here, in particular. That hangs off the presence of so many men and
women in uniform, the United States armed forces. So, therefore, we will
discuss the detail, in terms of U.S. force posture review, and what our
American friends have in mind, and our own interests in that connection.
But I am confident we will always end up with a good landing point, as we
have in the past. And I believe that will be to the benefit of both of our
national security interests.
The second part of your question, which goes to greater use of Australian
facilities, as I said before, it's been our historical approach, through
our joint facilities, our ports, our training facilities, our test firing
ranges, to make them available to our American friends. That's the
framework we apply for the future, as well.
One last point, though, on that. The Secretary before referred to the three
D's of the State Department: defence, diplomacy, and development. She is
absolutely right in that conceptual framework. And, beyond defence, our
common diplomacy in this region is really important. And working together
on emerging institutions, like the East Asian Summit, working with our
Chinese friends, working with our friends from India, from Japan, from the
Republic of Korea, from Indonesia, this is very important in shaping the
sort of rules-based order and habits of cooperation and predictability of
behaviour within the Asian Pacific region that is in our common interests
to underpin our stability and our security for this new century. It's been
guaranteed so much in the past by the strategic presence of the United
States, and that is always the underpinning factor.
(Inaudible) diplomacy, getting the rules right within the neighbourhood for
the future is also important. And we are working very closely
diplomatically, not just with the U.S. on that, but with our friends and
partners right across the region.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for your attention this
afternoon. And we look forward to the next few days together with Secretary
Clinton, and seeing some of the delights and sights and sounds of the great
city of Melbourne.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all.
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