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AUSMIN - Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations

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Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations 1996 Sydney Statement

Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations 1996 Sydney Statement

Joint Security Declaration


For more than 50 years Australia and the United States have maintained a
dynamic alliance relationship. As the strategic environment of the Asia pacific
region has changed, our close defence ties have made an essential contribution
to peace and security. The relationship will remain central to the security
of both countries, because it reflects fundamental shared interests and objectives.
The alliance will remain forward-looking and responsive to future challenges.

The ANZUS Treaty has long given shape and expression to advancement of our
common interests. During these challenging times in the strategic development
of the region, both countries take this opportunity to reaffirm their mutual
commitment to the obligations flowing from the Treaty.

Australia and the United States place enduring value on the alliance because
of its significance in maintaining and consolidating Australia's capability
for self‑reliant defence, and because it constitutes a crucial element
in the United States' permanent presence in the Asia Pacific region. Both
governments reaffirm their commitment to that presence through forward-deployed
US forces, access arrangements and exercises. We both attach importance to
continuing Australian access to United States technology, close cooperation
in intelligence matters, the assurance of resupply and logistics support in
a crisis, and combined exercises and training to promote interoperability.

Our Governments seek to work together, and with others in the region, to
promote our common security interests. Our aim is to contribute to the development
of a regional security environment which:

  • promotes democracy, economic
    development and prosperity, and strategic stability;
  • forestalls the resort to
    force in international disputes;
  • prevents the proliferation
    of weapons of mass destruction; and
  • encourages cooperation
    to enhance the security of the region as a whole.

We look forward to strengthening the web of mutually reinforcing bilateral
and multilateral security relationships in the region as a means to these

Strengthening the Australia‑United States alliance will ensure that
it continues to play a major part in enhancing the security of the Asia Pacific
region as a whole. To this end, we have agreed that Australia will provide
additional training opportunities for United States forces. This is an important
development in the active support Australia has traditionally provided for
forward‑deployed United States forces and does not reflect any diminution
of the United States presence elsewhere in the Asia Pacific. Given the enduring
benefits of the Joint Defence Facilities, both countries:

  • reaffirm their commitment
    to long-term continuation of the current arrangements at Pine Gap, to which
    end we have endorsed a further 10‑year extension of the agreement; and
  • effecting new arrangements
    following the planned closure of Nurrungar around the year 2000.

Both countries look forward to a successful joint exercise called Tandem
Thrust scheduled for March 1997, a large and complex exercise involving 22,000
Australian and US personnel. It is a major step towards the Australian Defence
Force/US Pacific Command vision for combined operations.

The Australia-United States alliance serves security objectives which are
closely shared with other countries in the region. It is part of a comprehensive
approach to the prevention of destabilising arms build-ups and the promotion
of regional arrangements for confidence building and conflict resolution.
A major goal of both countries is the continued development of strong bilateral
relationships with Asia Pacific countries, and of regional forums such as
the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
Such forums enhance long term regional cooperation through peaceful dialogue.
We are both committed to work with others to maintain the momentum of regional

Australia and the United States share the goal of effective multilateral
cooperation in arms control and non‑proliferation. Halting the spread
of weapons of mass destruction means ensuring the effective operation of non‑proliferation
and arms control regimes. We resolve to continue our work towards:

  • signing a Comprehensive
    Test Ban Treaty at the outset of the fifty‑first session of the UN General
    Assembly in September 1996;
  • achieving the entry into
    force of the Chemical Weapons Convention in early 1997.

We will also work towards strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention,
ensuring the effectiveness of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, strengthening
International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards and promoting the work of international
export control regimes.

Our countries are committed to improving the international community's ability
to respond effectively to outbreaks of conflict in various regions and to
playing an appropriate role ourselves. We seek to reform the United Nations
so that it can play a more effective role in safeguarding peace among nations.

Our common agenda seeks a secure and prosperous future for our two countries,
the Asia Pacific region and the global community. Australia and the United
States, as natural allies and treaty partners, are committed to making this
objective a reality.

The Australia-United States security relationship, having proved its value
for five decades, will remain a cornerstone of Asia Pacific security into
the twenty‑first century.

Last Updated: 24 January 2013
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