Joint Statement by President Biden and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia—An Alliance for Our Times
We, Prime Minister Albanese and President Biden, meet at a uniquely consequential time for our Alliance, the Indo-Pacific, and the world.
Our partnership reflects more than one hundred years of trust, respect, friendship and shared sacrifice. Our relationship is founded on a shared commitment to supporting an open, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific, and a peaceful, inclusive and rules-based international order based on respect for international law and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. It is anchored in shared values of democracy, the rule of law, and the protection and promotion of human rights.
Today we renew these bonds as we enhance the Alliance to respond to evolving challenges.
Addressing Climate and Biodiversity Action, and Clean Energy Transition
Today we have signed a statement of intent to advance our climate cooperation through the Australia-United States Climate, Critical Minerals, and Clean Energy Transformation Compact. We are taking urgent action to elevate global climate ambition, accelerate the global clean energy transition, and support mitigation, adaptation and resilience efforts in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. The Compact affirms the position of climate and clean energy as the third pillar of the Alliance, alongside our defence and economic cooperation.
Under the Compact, Australia and the United States intend for our private sectors, resources, and industrial strength to drive innovation and accelerate the establishment of a responsible, secure, and inclusive global clean energy economy. We intend to coordinate to spur the diversification and expansion of clean energy supply chains, address the growing energy demands of the Indo-Pacific, and enhance the Indo-Pacific's role as a primary driver of global prosperity. The newly-established Australia-U.S. Forum on Clean Energy Industrial Transformation and Taskforce on Critical Minerals will allow both our countries to deepen cooperation to deliver sustainable, resilient, and secure critical minerals and clean energy to the world and reduce emissions.
Our countries are committed to halting and reversing environmental degradation, including via environmental economic accounting and reporting, nature-based solutions, preventing pollution, and protecting and restoring biodiversity on both land and in water. The United States applauds Australia in creating Environment Protection Australia, its national environment protection agency, and plans to support efforts to share information and best practices through a forthcoming memorandum of understanding between our environmental agencies.
The United States and Australia share a proud tradition of working together to improve ocean health and using science for sustainable development and conservation of the ocean. This collaboration is being enhanced through a new arrangement to advance Pacific Ocean exploration and mapping between the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Geoscience Australia, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. These three leading science agencies are working together in consultation with Pacific islands countries to conduct new hydrographic mapping activities, provide technical exchange and expertise of ocean characterisation, and conduct joint exploration expeditions and campaigns across the Pacific to accelerate our understanding of the ocean to advance climate solutions, the new blue economy, and stewardship priorities.
Building our Defence Capability
We welcome the progress being made to provide Australia with a conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarine capability, and on developing advanced capabilities under the trilateral AUKUS partnership to deter aggression and sustain peace and stability across the Indo-Pacific. We are prioritising improving information sharing and technology cooperation mechanisms required to advance our defence and security collaboration, including through AUKUS.
The President plans to ask the United States Congress to add Australia as a "domestic source" within the meaning of Title III of the Defense Production Act. Doing so would streamline technological and industrial base collaboration, accelerate and strengthen AUKUS implementation, and build new opportunities for United States investment in the production and purchase of Australian critical minerals, critical technologies, and other strategic sectors.
We also acknowledge the work under way to implement Australia-United States Enhanced Force Posture Cooperation, including accelerating Japan's involvement in force posture related activities.
Harnessing Emerging Technologies
Australia and the United States stand ready to seize the opportunities of quantum and advanced technologies, building upon our Joint Statement of Collaboration on Quantum, signed in November 2021, and the release of Australia's National Quantum Strategy. We are determined to deepen cooperation on initiatives to be delivered in the coming year, and to work bilaterally and with partners to drive innovation and responsible norms and standards for emerging technologies as we lead the quantum revolution.
The United States also appreciates the collaboration with Australian counterparts on promoting telecommunications supplier diversity, including Open Radio Access Networks (Open RAN), given its strong potential to advance resilience, competitiveness, and diversity priorities shared by many bilateral and multilateral partners with regard to telecoms network infrastructure.
We acknowledge the importance of facilitating the free flow of data across borders through an open, global, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet and reiterate our shared commitment to participating in multilateral fora such as the Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules Forum, which was established to support the free flow of data and effective data protection and privacy globally.
Reaching New Frontiers in Space
Space collaboration is a rich opportunity to build high-skilled, well-paying jobs and increase investment between our countries. Australia and the United States have reached agreement in principle, subject to final domestic authorisations, on the Technology Safeguards Agreement, to allow for the controlled transfer of sensitive US launch technology and data while protecting US technology consistent with US non-proliferation policy, the Missile Technology Control Regime and US export controls.
As founding signatories to the Artemis Accords, and building on more than 60 years of cooperation in lunar exploration, we intend to establish a new Australia-based ground station supporting NASA's Artemis program that will provide near-continuous communications support to lunar missions.
Securing Peace and Future Prosperity
We are committed to upholding a global order based on international law, including the fundamental principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity. We condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia's illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine. Russia's war violates international law, including the UN Charter, and is driving global food and energy insecurity— the effects of which are reverberating in the Indo-Pacific region. We once again call on Russia to immediately, completely, and unconditionally withdraw its forces from within the internationally recognised borders of Ukraine. As part of our continuing, coordinated actions to impose costs on Russia for its appalling actions in Ukraine, Australia and the United States both imposed a further tranche of sanctions and trade measures on Russian entities and individuals on 19 May whilst at the G7 Summit.
We reiterate our commitment to the global non-proliferation regime, including the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, as the cornerstone of the non-proliferation and disarmament regime. We reaffirmed our commitment towards the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons.
Both leaders applauded Japan's hosting of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, and its contribution to promoting an inclusive and rules-based international order.
The Quad Leaders' Summit in Hiroshima will demonstrate the Quad's enduring contribution to the development, stability, and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific through its positive, practical agenda. We look forward to the next Quad Leaders' Summit being held in India. We strongly support India's G20 presidency under the theme of 'One Earth, One Family, One Future' and its overarching focus on sustainable development, in addressing the most pressing global challenges together.
We are working through the Pacific Islands Forum and other long-standing Pacific regional institutions to listen to and partner with the countries of the Pacific to meet the region's needs. We intend to pursue joint financing to help modernise and secure infrastructure in the region, including by working with regional organisations and mechanisms like the Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility and other initiatives such as the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment that promote and maintain high standards, including on labour and environmental practices. Australia welcomes the US commitment to explore new grant funding for infrastructure projects in the Pacific, and its intent to further develop sovereign financing capacity to meet critical infrastructure needs in the Pacific. Australia welcomes the US commitment through USAID to pre-position disaster response stores with Australia's managed supplies in Brisbane and Papua New Guinea to improve response times.
The United States Coast Guard plans to deploy a US Coast Guard Cutter to the Pacific in early 2024, to provide an enduring humanitarian presence in the region, complementary to Australia's Pacific Support Vessel. We welcome the growing partnership between the United States Coast Guard, the Australian Defence Force, and Australian Border Force with Pacific partners to enhance the maritime security of the Blue Pacific and address the challenge of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. This includes through the delivery of training coordinated with Australia's Pacific Maritime Security Program. We are committed to exploring options to support enhanced US Coast Guard engagement in the region, including logistics.
We reiterate our enduring commitment to deepen our respective engagement with Southeast Asia. As Comprehensive Strategic Partners of ASEAN, we reaffirm our commitment to ASEAN centrality and ASEAN-led regional architecture. We express our strong support for Indonesia's priorities as the 2023 ASEAN Chair, including its leadership of the East Asia Summit in Jakarta this year. We look forward to furthering trilateral cooperation with regional partners, including both Japan and the Philippines.
We emphasise the importance of all states being able to exercise rights and freedoms in a manner consistent with international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, including freedom of navigation and overflight. We strongly oppose destabilising actions in the South China Sea, such as the militarisation of disputed features, the dangerous use of coast guard vessels and maritime militia, and efforts to disrupt other countries' offshore resource exploitation. We are also concerned about the People's Republic of China's excessive maritime claims that are inconsistent with international law and unilateral actions that may raise tensions in the region. We resolve to work with partners to support regional maritime security and uphold international law.
We reaffirm the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and our shared opposition to unilateral changes to the status quo. We call for the peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues through dialogue without the threat or use of force or coercion.
Building Cyber Capacity and Protecting Children Online
The United States and Australia recognise the importance of supporting the Pacific to adopt and adapt to new digital technologies, and to manage the risks that accompany these, in order to ensure a more peaceful, prosperous, and resilient region. We commit to working together on cyber security capacity building objectives, approaches, and policies in the Pacific, and to listen to Pacific partner countries' priorities to inform future cooperation.
Online child sexual exploitation and abuse is increasingly prevalent, commodified, organised, and worsened by the speed, scale, and scope of digital technologies. We are steadfast in combatting all forms of child exploitation and abuse in our communities, online and internationally. For this reason, we have decided to take steps to establish the Australia-United States Joint Council on Combatting Online Child Sexual Exploitation. The Council will develop and facilitate the implementation of a joint, multidisciplinary work plan which includes cooperation in the Indo-Pacific; driving a trauma-informed and victim and survivor-centred approach; research and development; operational opportunities; policy and legislation; prevention, awareness, and outreach; and Safety by Design.
Fostering Free and Fair Trade and Strengthening Economic Resilience
We are committed to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the shared values upon which it is based, including fair competition, openness, transparency and the rule of law. We intend to work together to improve the system through reform, including so that it can better achieve the WTO's foundational objectives and help address global challenges. We reaffirm the commitment of Ministers at the Twelfth Session of the WTO Ministerial Conference to work towards necessary reform of the WTO to improve all of its functions, including to conduct discussions with the view to having a fully- and well-functioning dispute settlement system accessible to all members by 2024.
We also plan to work with the Pacific to help maintain access to enduring banking services, including correspondent banking relationships which are vital to facilitate trade, remittances, and investment.
We reaffirm our ongoing efforts to strengthen our shared economic security, including via the Australia-United States Strategic Commercial Dialogue, which will convene in Detroit later this week. We look forward to seeing one another again in San Francisco this November for the APEC Economic Leaders' Week, to advance sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the region. We also look forward to working together to deliver tangible benefits under the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity by the end of this year.
NOTE: An original was not available for verification of the content of this joint statement.
Joseph R. Biden, Joint Statement by President Biden and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia—An Alliance for Our Times Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/361854