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[Australia's strategic imperatives presented to the ASPI Global Forces Conference 2008]



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Minister for Defence Media -----------------------------------------------------------------------

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Wednesday, 2 July 2008 084/2008

Opening the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) Global Forces Conference in Canberra today, the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, highlighted Australia’s Strategic Imperatives.

“A secure, friendly and stable region is crucial to Australia’s prosperity,” Mr Snowdon said.

“To address global challenges such as climate change, demographic change, the rise of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, we need comprehensive regional engagement, along with effective multilateral approaches.

Mr Snowdon said that in the uncertain future strategic environment, Australia’s alliance with the United States and our role in the United Nations are more important than ever.

“Australia is committed to a rules-based international system, and we need a strong system of global and regional relationships and institutions to underpin international security and stability,” he said.

In view of the changing strategic environment, the Government is preparing a new Defence White Paper. The White Paper is a vital planning document that will align Defence’s strategic guidance, force structure, capability priorities and resource strategies, and will form the foundation of future Defence capabilities.

Mr Snowdon said, “Many future challenges will not restrict themselves to individual Government departments. A whole-of-government approach, not just a military commitment, will be required to address many of the underlying causes of violence and instability within the world.”

“The Australian Defence Force of the future will need to be not only flexible and adaptable, but will require improved interoperability in joint ADF operations, in working with other Government agencies, and with key international partners,” he said.

“With that comes the challenge of recruiting and retaining a professional and high-quality military and civilian workforce in a highly competitive jobs market.

“All the capability in the world is no good to a defence force without having the right people to operate and maintain it,” said Mr Snowdon.

Media note: Mr Snowdon’s full speech will be available from: http://www.defence.gov.au/media/

Media contacts: Kate Sieper (Warren Snowdon): 02 6277 7620 or 0488 484 689 Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664

www.defence.gov.au

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