Washington, D.C. — 19 April 1995
1. The United States Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, and Secretary of Defense, William Perry, and the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Gareth Evans, and Minister for Defense, Senator Robert Ray, met in Washington, D.C. on April 19,1995 to discuss global and regional issues and to advance the U.S.-Australia relationship.
2. Both sides affirmed the importance of the Australia-United States Ministerial Talks as an annual forum to review developments, exchange views, and explore opportunities for expanded cooperation in pursuing shared objectives. Looking forward to the 50th anniversary commemorations of the end of World War II the two Allies welcomed close contact at the ministerial level as they shape their responses to new challenges in the post-Cold War world. In their exchange of views, both sides welcomed the growing sense of community in the Asia-Pacific, and noted the positive development of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the ASEAN Regional Forum as examples of the region's shared commitment to peace and prosperity.
3. Both sides affirmed their strong support for APEC and for bold implementation of decisions made at Bogor in November 1994 to achieve free and open trade and investment by no later than the year 2020 (2010 for developed APEC member economies). To this end, they undertook to work closely with Japan in its capacity as APEC chair for 1995 and with all other APEC members to ensure APEC consensus at the Osaka meeting on a credible, detailed action plan for achieving the Bogor declaration goals.
Defense and Security Cooperation
4. Both governments affirmed the importance of peace and security in the Asia-Pacific and recommitted themselves to promoting stability throughout the region. They outlined their respective strategic planning and high-level policy review, including the report on Security Strategy for the East Asia-Pacific Region undertaken by the U.S. Department of Defense and Australia's 1994 Defense White Paper. The United States emphasized that its review reflected continuing vital national interests in the region and reaffirmed that maintenance of a stable environment in the Asia-Pacific is important not only for U.S. security but also for economic cooperation and growth in the region. The United States underscored its commitment to continuing strategic engagement through alliances, highly-capable forward-deployed forces, access arrangements, exercises, expanded trade and investment ties, and participation in regional economic and security fora.
5. Australia welcomed the U.S. commitment to continuing strategic engagement, noting that it constituted a key element of regional stability and an important contribution to Australia's security. The U.S. welcomed the emphasis in Australia's Defense White Paper on self-reliance and the key role of the alliance with the United States in Australia's defense policy. It also welcomed the priority accorded by Australia to strategic engagement with the region and Australia's commitment to substantial support for the United Nations.
6. Both nations stressed the importance of the Australia-U.S. alliance in contributing to a stable and peaceful Asia-Pacific region. They also affirmed the relevance of the mutual security obligations embodied in the ANZUS treaty, and of the need for continued close consultation on issues of mutual security concern. They agreed that the relationship has evolved over five decades since World War II and grows ever stronger, reflecting the depth of their shared democratic values and interests. The United States and Australia also affirmed the need to reinforce public understanding and support as the strategic partnership meets the new challenges of the post-Cold War world.
7. Both countries emphasized the benefits of cooperation in a wide range of areas including intelligence, training, logistics, defense science, and access to advanced technology. The United States confirmed that Australia, as a close ally of long standing and a major buyer of U.S. defense equipment, would continue to receive preferential access to U.S. equipment, intelligence and military science and technology to assist in maintaining defense force readiness and capability at the level of sophistication envisaged in Australia's defense policy. The U.S. undertook to assist Australia in maintaining its F-111 capability following the U.S. decision to withdraw the aircraft from service.
8. Both governments agreed that expanded industry access to each other's defense markets would be a practical step to further strengthening of the defense relationship. To this end, Secretary of Defense Perry and Minister for Defence Ray signed today a Memorandum of Agreement Between the Government of Australia and the Government of the United States of America Concerning Reciprocal Defense Procurement. The agreement establishes a framework to facilitate the efforts of each country's industry to seek contracts in the other country. The memorandum should pave the way to more open defense markets, with benefit to both countries' industries.
9. Both governments affirmed the key role which activities supported through the United States-Australia joint defense facilities continue to play in supporting their security interests, including through furthering post-Cold War regional and global peace and stability. Cooperation in these pursuits is an important element in the bilateral relationship, and the participants pledged to continue such activities under arrangements which are beneficial to both countries.
10. Australia affirmed the importance of promoting regional security through bilateral defense relationships with nations in the Asia-Pacific and through appropriate multilateral mechanisms such as the Five Power Defense Arrangements (FPDA). The United States emphasized the importance of its regional alliances and agreements, and both sides noted, in particular, the key contribution made to regional security by the U.S.-Japan security relationship. The U.S. reaffirmed its determination to work with Japan to maintain that relationship as a pillar of regional security.
11. Both sides agreed to explore ways to enhance cooperative activities and deployments in the Asia-Pacific intended to support regional peace and security. To this end they agreed to continue regular official consultations to harmonize defense activities in the region. Australia noted that it would welcome additional opportunities to assist U.S. military deployments and defense activities which advance shared interests in the stability and security of the region, including provision of access to Australian military training ranges and facilities.
12. Australia noted the high-level visits between the United States and New Zealand which resulted from the 1994 U.S. policy review and led to the March 27 Washington meeting between President Clinton and Prime Minister Bolger. The United States confirmed that the resumption of such senior-level contacts did not signify a restoration of the previous alliance with New Zealand under ANZUS. The United States expressed the hope that these contacts, along with important changes in the international environment since differences with New Zealand first arose, will lead over time to changes in New Zealand policy which could permit a restoration of the close security ties the two countries previously enjoyed.
13. The United States and Australia underscored the importance of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in promoting multilateral security dialogue and peace in the Asia-Pacific. The United States praised Australia's leadership in hosting the first ARF intersessional seminar in November which included defense policy specialists from most members and which broadened understanding and support for trust-building and defense transparency measures. Both sides agreed that the ARF Mixed Seminar on Peacekeeping in Brunei in March which included military officers from most members was useful in considering cooperation in support of UN peacekeeping. The United States and Australia looked forward to additional useful areas for: cooperation emerging from the ARF intersessional seminar on preventive dipIomacy in Seoul in May.
14. Both sides believe it is very important that the ARF senior officials meeting this May in Brunei lay the basis for decisions by Ministers at the ARF in August on a concrete work program. The U.S. and Australia noted that members would also want to agree on practical cooperative outcomes at the ARF in August, in order to sustain confidence in the utility of the ARF. Both sides looked forward to continuing discussions at the ARF on the current security challenges in the region. The United States and Australia strongly support Cambodia's early admission to the ARF.
15. The United States and Australia expressed concern about recent events in the Spratly Islands. They urged all the claimants to exercise restraint, avoid further destabilizing actions, and intensify cooperative efforts on South China Sea issues. Both sides also affirmed their support for the 1992 and 1995 ASEAN statements on the South China Sea. Stressing the need to encourage a peaceful solution to the dispute, they noted with approval Indonesia's efforts in hosting the informal South China Sea workshops, including plans for a sixth workshop this year.
16. Both governments affirmed the importance to regional security and global nuclear non-proliferation of compliance by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) with its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Australia welcomed the DPRK's commitment, in the U.S.-DPRK Agreed Framework, to freeze and eventually dismantle its existing gas-graphite moderated nuclear facilities under strict monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency and return to full compliance with its non-proliferation obligations. Australia expressed appreciation for U.S. leadership in establishing the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO). The United States thanked Australia for its financial contribution of US $5 million to KEDO. Both sides noted that the Republic of Korea will assume the central role in financing and construction of the light water reactor project and that Japan will play a significant role in the project and other KEDO activities. Both sides agreed broad multilateral participation and contributions to KEDO were desirable.
17. The United States and Australia affirmed their willingness to continue assisting with the reconstruction of Cambodia and supporting the Royal Cambodian Government (RCG) in its efforts to promote stability, economic development, administrative and military professionalization and reform, good governance, transparency, the rule of law, and respect for the human rights of all Cambodians. Both sides condemned the Khmer Rouge for its ongoing acts of violence and brutality against Cambodia's people and legitimate government. Both sides praised the work of the International Committee on the Reconstruction of Cambodia and urged the follow-on Consultative Group chaired by the World Bank to promote common goals in Cambodia. Both urged that Cambodia, in its own interest and that of the international community, keep open the UN Human Rights Center Field Office in Phnom Penh.
18. Australia welcomed the expansion of U.S.-Vietnam relations and the opening of liaison offices in Washington and Hanoi and noted that this was in the best interests of both countries and regional peace and stability. The United States affirmed its intention to utilize its liaison office to promote further progress on POW/MIA issues, which remains its highest national priority with respect to Vietnam. The office will also seek to advance the human rights dialogue with Vietnam and provide services to American citizens in that country. Australia stressed its support for such a dialogue, noting that human rights issues are an important part of its own broadening ties with Vietnam. Both countries welcomed Vietnam's economic reform efforts and its outward-looking foreign policy. In this context, they supported Vietnam's closer integration with the Asia Pacific region and its forthcoming membership of ASEAN.
19. The United States and Australia expressed disappointment at the lack of progress by Burma on political liberalization and human rights. They cited the failure of the Burmese government to resume dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi, release her and other political prisoners, pursue a serious dialogue with the UN which produces real political change, agree to prison monitoring by the International Committee of the Red Cross, and work toward peaceful reconciliation with the Karen National Union and other groups. While the release in March of some political prisoners was encouraging, the United States and Australia called for more progress on this and other issues of democracy and human rights. Both sides noted that more than half of the heroin in the world, and more than two-thirds of the heroin seized in the United States, has been traced to Burma. Both urged the Burmese government to cooperate with the world community in reducing the opium and heroin produced in Burma. Both sides affirmed the need to work together with ASEAN nations and the international community to encourage positive change in Burma.
20. The United States complimented Australia's hosting of the 1994 South Pacific Forum meeting. The United States and Australia reaffirmed the importance of the Forum and its contribution to broadening regional dialogue. Both welcomed the increasing commitment of South Pacific nations to pursuing sound economic and sustainable development policies. Both sides noted the continued need for South Pacific nations to take difficult economic decisions in order to promote prosperity and development. Both anticipate a useful meeting of the South Pacific Forum in Papua New Guinea in September.
21. Both governments reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the United Nations as the pre-eminent international organization entrusted with global security. Both agreed that increased cooperation in the Security Council has rendered the UN more relevant, not only in the resolution of regional conflicts, but also through multilateral action in new and difficult areas of activity such as humanitarian emergency assistance and the promotion of human rights and democracy. The United States and Australia cited the importance of these efforts, while urging reforms that will make the UN more effective in carrying out its growing responsibilities.
22. Both sides agreed that, as the Security Council addresses unprecedented challenges, the international community should consider changes in Council composition to reflect new political, economic, and security realities. They welcomed steps the Council has already taken to increase transparency and exchange information with the general membership. Both governments encouraged further exploration of practical reforms in Council working methods and procedures.
23. Both governments noted the growing complexity of tasks facing peacekeepers. Both recognized that, in the past, most UN peace missions operated in non-hostile environments, and the difficulties of creating a secure environment in the midst of ongoing conflict have engendered frustration. Both affirmed that, while they support an active UN role in maintaining international peace and security, operations in Somalia, Rwanda, and the former Yugoslavia showed that a continuing thorough review is needed of how the UN decides, manages, funds, and supports peacekeeping. Both sides agreed that mandates for peacekeeping operations should include an explicit time frame and clear, practicable goals. Both welcomed the UN General Assembly resolution in December opening for signature a Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel, which will provide further protection for UN peacekeepers. The United States pledged to work closely with Australia to promote more effective forms of UN preventive diplomacy.
24. The United States and Australia welcomed progress in the Middle East peace talks during the year and recommitted themselves to support the process, noting in particular the need for full implementation of the Declaration of Principles between Israel and the Palestinians. They also welcomed further Israeli-Syrian talks. Australia praised U.S. leadership in seeking a comprehensive Middle East peace, and the United States expressed appreciation for Australia's role in the multilateral phase of the process, including its hosting later this month of the Water Resources Working Group Workshop on Rainfall Enhancement. Both sides reiterated their call for a speedy lifting of the Arab boycott on trade with Israel.
25. The United States and Australia noted the March 14 UN Security Council decision to renew international economic sanctions against Iraq and the April 14 decision to permit selected humanitarian measures to assist the people of Iraq. They called on Iraq to comply fully with all relevant Security Council resolutions in order that the international community could consider lifting the sanctions now in force. The U.S. side highlighted the continuing importance of the UN-authorized Multinational Interception Force in the Arabian Gulf in increasing the effectiveness of the maritime regime and enforcing UN sanctions against Iraq.
26. Australia observed that several Indian Ocean littoral states have expressed interest in exploring ways to cooperate, especially in economic relations. Australia noted that prospects for such cooperation will be discussed at a mid-June conference to be held in Perth. The U.S. side signalled its interest in such discussions and Australia undertook to keep the U.S. informed of developments.
Non-proliferation and Arms Control
27. Affirming the centrality of nuclear non-proliferation to their respective national interests, both governments underlined how essential it is that the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review and Extension Conference now under way in New York endorse an indefinite extension of the NPT without conditions. Both sides affirmed a permanent NPT as the foundation of a stable strategic environment for future arms control efforts.
28. The United States and Australia affirmed their commitment to halting the spread of weapons of mass destruction and missile delivery systems. They expressed support for existing multilateral non-proliferation treaties and committed themselves to continued close cooperation in ensuring the effectiveness of the non-proliferation export-control regimes: the Nuclear Suppliers Group; the Missile Technology Control Regime; and the Australia Group which seeks to control the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons.
29. Both sides expressed their determination to move forward on establishing a new multilateral arrangement to promote responsibility and transparency in trade in arms and dual-use items, and reaffirmed that the new arrangement should prevent the acquisition of arms and sensitive dual-use items for military end-uses in states whose behavior is, or becomes, a cause for serious concern. They agreed on the need to encourage participation in, and to establish guidelines for, the information exchange begun at the Post-COCOM Working Group meeting [in] Canberra in February 1995. Finally, both Australia and the United States acknowledged the importance of establishing an effective COCOM successor regime. In this regard, each government pledged to rededicate its efforts to control dangerous conventional arms and associated dual-use technologies and to promote similar responsible behavior by other countries.
30. Both governments expressed determination to achieve, in negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty at the earliest possible date. Australia praised the recent U.S. decision to drop a ten-year CTBT withdrawal clause. Australia welcomed the United States' national declaration of April 5,1995, and the recent statements of the other nuclear weapon states, providing negative and positive security assurances to non-nuclear weapons states, and Security Resolution 984 of April 11, 1995. Both sides welcomed the mandate achieved in the Conference on Disarmament for the negotiation of a multilateral treaty to ban the production of fissile material for weapons purposes, and expressed support for the early commencement of negotiations. Australia urged the United States to accede at an early date to the protocols of the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty.
31. The United States and Australia affirmed their willingness to explore areas in which Australia could cooperate in those elements of the United States ballistic missile defense program which enhance the common objectives of discouraging missile proliferation and affording protection against missile attack. Both sides were pleased that an initial program of cooperative activities was expected to begin this year.
32. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to work for the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention as soon as possible. Both agreed on the importance of strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention by encouraging more widespread participation in confidence-building measures such as data submissions and by taking an active role in drafting a legally-binding protocol.
Economic and Trade Issues
33. Both parties welcomed the entry into force of the World Trade Organization at the beginning of the year and reaffirmed their commitment to implement fully and on a timely basis their obligations under the Uruguay Round agreements. They urged other WTO members to implement their commitments in all areas fully and promptly. Both agreed on the continued need to work toward a more liberal international trading system. In this context, they agreed on the importance for global growth of the liberalization of trade and investment around the world.
34. Both countries agreed that continuing efforts to strengthen the multilateral trading system and the liberalization of trade and investment had the highest priority in their trade policies. They expressed their undivided commitment to make the World Trade Organization an effective organization. In this regard, it was noted that the broadening and deepening of the disciplines in new areas such as services and intellectual property and traditional areas such as agriculture, along with more effective disciplines in activities such as subsidies and grey-area measures, will substantially enhance the credibility of the multilateral trading system.
35. The United States and Australia discussed trade relations and recent developments concerning other major regional trading partners. Both sides agreed on the importance of a strong U.S.Japan economic relationship and improved access to the Japanese market on an MFN basis in order to promote global growth and increase trading opportunities for all countries. Both sides reaffirmed their intention to work together to pursue a commercially viable WTO accession agreement with China.
36. Both countries reaffirmed their commitment to reducing and eliminating barriers to trade and to expanding bilateral trade and investment flows. In that regard, Australia welcomed the debate on the 1995 Farm Bill and confirmed its intention to contribute to that debate. They again noted that the Uruguay Round outcome would alleviate some issues which have been sources of friction in the bilateral relationship over recent years. The U.S. confirmed that the Export Enhancement Program (EEP) and the Dairy Export Incentive Program (DEIP) had been refocused so they can be used for market expansion in addition to focusing on combating unfair trade practices. The U.S. reaffirmed that it would seek to avoid using these programs in ways that undermine Australia's legitimate interests.
37. Both governments renewed their commitment to the Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA), concluded in 1992, as a mechanism for addressing trade and investment concerns and for pursuing further expansion of trade and investment relations. Both sides welcomed the TIFA Senior Officials Meeting in Canberra last month and looked forward to a Ministerial-level TIFA Council meeting in Washington in July 1995.
38. Both sides affirmed the value of the annual Australia-United States Ministerial talks, and Australia confirmed its invitation to the United States to take part in the next round of talks in Australia in 1996.
Last update: Tuesday, 23 February 2010 GMT+1100