Today my Canadian counterpart, Foreign Minister Rob Nicholson, and I signed The Glasgow-Burchell Declaration on Enhanced Diplomatic Network Cooperation (the Joint Declaration), boosting our diplomatic and consular effectiveness and cooperation.

This is a significant agreement which coincides with the first visit of an Australian Foreign Minister to Canada in almost a decade.

Australia and Canada are natural partners and together we are meeting contemporary global economic and security challenges.

Providing appropriate consular services to help our citizens overseas is becoming a growing need for both our countries. In crisis situations our joint cooperation is reliable, dependable and trusted. This was demonstrated when Australia evacuated Canadian citizens in the aftermath of the natural disasters that devastated Vanuatu and Nepal.

Australia will never forget the support Canada provided to our nation and our citizens after the downing of MH17 in Ukraine, almost one year ago.

The Joint Declaration establishes a formal framework for existing cooperation and provides a systematic and comprehensive checklist where Australia and Canada can work more closely together. It will enable us to expand common services and share premises across the globe.

Australia and Canada are already co-located in Kiev, Ukraine and are looking to expand this network of co-located consular premises, including in Vientiane, Laos.

There is already considerable cooperation between our two countries in building peace, security and prosperity, domestically and internationally. This Joint Declaration is a practical measure which will enable us to share our strengths in our respective regions and across the globe.

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