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Strengthening the strategic partnership between the United Kingdom and Australia.



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Prime Minister of Australia

Media Release

Joint Statement with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Strengthening the Strategic Partnership between the United Kingdom and Australia

30 March 2009

1. On 30 March 2009, Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd met in London to reaffirm the importance of the relationship between the United Kingdom and Australia.

2. They reviewed the progress made to strengthen further bilateral relations under the Progressive Plan of Action on Common Interests agreed on April 7, 2008 - encompassing cooperation on significant global challenges such as climate change, trade, development and global institutions.

3. The Prime Ministers agreed on a complementary initiative for a new National Security Partnership between the United Kingdom and Australia.

4. They agreed that providing security for the nation and its citizens remained the most important responsibility of government. They shared the view that globalisation had brought significant global benefits, but also increasingly diverse, complex and interconnected security threats.

5. They noted that the United Kingdom and Australia both released in 2008 new National Security strategies responding to these evolving security threats, focused on comprehensive and integrated approaches - including working more closely with key partners to address security threats.

6. The Prime Ministers agreed the respective new National Security strategies provided a strong framework for intensified cooperation to ensure that the bilateral relationship continued to meet contemporary security challenges.

7. They emphasised the bedrock of longstanding and extensive bilateral security cooperation on which a new era of cooperation could be built. They underlined shared core values at the heart of this enduring cooperation: freedom, tolerance, opportunity, justice and democracy. They recalled the history of combined sacrifice by the United Kingdom and Australia for global peace and security.

8. The Prime Ministers agreed that the new National Security Partnership would strengthen bilateral security cooperation based on four key pillars: responses to traditional security threats; responses to broader, emerging non-traditional security threats; integrated, whole-of-government responses to national security; and the commitment of both to shared international alliances.

Strengthening Bilateral Cooperation on Traditional Security Threats

9. The Prime Ministers acknowledged the current substantial bilateral diplomatic, defence and intelligence relationships to protect and promote both countries’ sovereignty, and to promote a stable, peaceful and prosperous international environment.

10. They agreed that these links had been enhanced in recent years through close cooperation on the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and within multilateral fora, including significant collaboration on international counter-terrorism efforts, and working jointly to address the threat of the spread of weapons of mass destruction. They agreed that the bilateral relationship was well placed to continue this high level of cooperation, and committed to further strengthening these traditional security links - in particular by:

Conclusion by June 2009 of the Joint Review of the United Kingdom-Australia Defence Relationship aimed at continuous improvement of the extensive defence relationship.

z In 2009 further develop regular bilateral discussions on strategic defence planning, including exchange of strategic policy documents, to strengthen the UK-Australia bilateral relationship. z Holding regular high-level Defence Policy Talks by November 2009 to take forward the findings of the Joint Review of Australia-UK Defence ties, and bring further strategic focus and coordination to the many strands of the bilateral

Defence relationship. z Reviewing under the Anglo-Australian Memorandum of Understanding on Science and Technology framework by December 2009, priority areas for Defence Science and Technology Cooperation. z Intensified planning, strategy and operational cooperation on mutual efforts in Afghanistan.

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z Development of aligned Counter-Terrorism Strategies for South East Asia and South Asia characterised by complementary capacity building programmes and counter-radicalisation initiatives. Exchanges of UK and Australian officials.

z Establishment of a Senior Officials Asia-Pacific Dialogue to enhance bilateral cooperation related to significant regional geo-strategic change, particularly the increasingly important role played by the region in international affairs, and the development of regional structures.

z Further development of the significant intelligence cooperation relationship. z Agreement to escalate Joint Work Against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, including in relation to Australia’s and Japan’s International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament initiative, the Proliferation Security Initiative, fuel cycle security, and as part of the international effort to tackle the need for

transparency in nuclear programmes, as well as the 2010 NPT Review Conference. z Agreement to strengthen exchanges on conventional arms control measures, including pressing internationally for a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty, stronger global arms export controls and ratifying the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

Strengthening Bilateral Cooperation on Non-Traditional Security Threats

11. The Prime Ministers agreed that national security was no longer limited to defending against threats to the integrity and interests of the sovereign state but increasingly extended to defending against threats to citizens and respective ways of life in the United Kingdom and Australia, including related to the environment, global poverty, trans-national crime, energy security, pandemics and natural disasters.

12. Within the framework of the National Security Strategies of the United Kingdom and Australia, the Prime Ministers agreed to strengthen cooperation on non-traditional security threats to ensure a comprehensive approach to the bilateral security relationship as it confronts wide-ranging and increasingly interdependent global threats. They agreed that while there was a considerable degree of pre-existing bilateral cooperation on non-traditional security threats, there remained scope for deeper and broader bilateral links in this area.

13. The Prime Ministers reaffirmed commitment to the United Kingdom-Australia enhanced partnership of April 2008 to address climate change, underlining that it represented a fundamental long term national security challenge. They agreed that the current global economic crisis must not be used as an excuse against securing an ambitious, equitable and effective post-2012 international climate change agreement in Copenhagen at the end of the year.

14. They welcomed intensifying bilateral cooperation on climate change, including support by the United Kingdom for Australia’s Carbon Capture and Storage Initiative. They endorsed recent joint work to consider the potential security implications of climate change, with a particular focus on Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

15. The Prime Ministers agreed that poverty, poor economic development and governance and lack of opportunity are all highly correlated with insecurity, both in individual countries and across regions. They agreed on the importance of maintaining political, economic and security support to help reduce global poverty and welcomed the increased commitments by the United Kingdom and Australia to assist achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

16. The Prime Ministers agreed to expedited implementation of the recently agreed United Kingdom-Australian Development Assistance Partnership identifying nine priority areas for cooperation, including the MDGs, post-conflict support, food security, disaster risk reduction and health. This includes an annual bilateral dialogue of senior aid officials to agree future areas of collaboration.

17. The Prime Ministers agreed to a range of further new initiatives to strengthen bilateral cooperation on emerging security challenges, including:

z Establishment of a bilateral inter-agency Border Security and Management Forum to promote the exchange of leading technologies and enhanced information flows. z Collaboration on Building Aviation Security Capacity in South East Asia. z Development of a bilateral Organised Crime Strategic Framework to combat transnational crime, including through

strengthened information sharing and leading practice benchmarking. z Continued informal bilateral dialogue on energy security to promote secure, reliable and affordable global energy supply. z Increased cooperation on Critical Infrastructure Protection. z Increased Collaboration on Cyber Security, including through enhanced participation in respective national cyber

security exercises and formalised information exchanges.

Building Integrated, Whole-of-Government Responses to National Security

18. The Prime Ministers agreed that the diverse, complex and interconnected nature of contemporary security threats requires diverse, interdependent and integrated responses that cut across departmental lines and traditional policy boundaries.

19. They noted recent work in both countries to ensure whole-of-government responses using all instruments of national power to address security challenges. They agreed that both countries would work closely together to assist each others’

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development of integrated national approaches to security policy and the building of associated capabilities, including to bolster prospects for future bilateral security cooperation.

20. The Prime Ministers agreed to the following initiatives as a first step:

z Annual Senior Security Adviser Discussions aimed at sharing information and building cooperation on integrated, whole-of-government security policy. z Cooperation on the development of Integrated Political-Civil-Military Solutions, including improving bilateral deployable civilian capacity in response to global conflicts and fragile states, including through collaboration

between UK agencies including the Stabilisation Unit, and Australia's Asia-Pacific Civil Military Centre of Excellence and Headquarters for Joint Operations Command. z Incorporation in annual bilateral Senior Officials talks of a Policy Planning Dialogue designed to strengthen respective capacity for strategic thinking and prioritisation across the national security spectrum, spanning

traditional boundaries between domestic and foreign policy, defence and security and intelligence and diplomacy. z Enhanced opportunities for the secondment of UK and Australian National Security Officials to respective national agencies and departments. z Regular Exchange of Information and Lessons Learned in achieving greater coherence and effectiveness across

government on national security policy.

Cooperation on Strengthening International Institutions

21. The Prime Ministers underlined each country’s strong commitment to strengthening international institutions and international rules-based approaches to addressing global security challenges. They agreed that the United Kingdom and Australia would intensify joint efforts promote stronger, effective international institutions, including through reform of the United Nations and its security council and a strengthening of the international financial institutions - especially the IMF and World Bank - to sustain a framework for global economic stability, growth and open markets as a fundamental precondition of security and stability.

22. In this context, the Prime Ministers agreed on the importance of the G20 Leaders process in catalysing decisive and prompt international action to address the current global economic crisis. They noted the G20 brought together the established and emerging powers: representative of more than 80 per cent of global GDP, 85 per cent of global trade and two thirds of the world’s population, encompassing all major regions. They agreed that the G20 provided a vital forum for addressing the current global economic and financial crisis and that the implementation of actions agreed in London must be followed up at the highest level.

Implementation mechanisms

23. The Prime Ministers agreed that regular AUKMIN meetings between UK and Australian Foreign and Defence Ministers were a key mechanism to monitor strategic and security cooperation, and to identify further areas for future cooperation. They agreed that, given the range of non-traditional challenges to security that our two countries face, AUKMIN should be enhanced to include other UK and Australian ministers as appropriate. They agreed that this mechanism would be supplemented by the range of existing bilateral frameworks for dialogue and security cooperation, and the new ones agreed upon today, which would continue to play an important role in developing and orchestrating strong outcomes at AUKMIN.

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