Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin hosted Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women Marise Payne and Minister for Defence Peter Dutton on September 16 in Washington D.C. for the 31st Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN 2021).
The United States-Australia Alliance remains an anchor of stability, and the principals reaffirmed the Indo-Pacific is the focus of the Alliance. This year as we celebrate our Alliance’s 70th anniversary we proudly reflect on the legacy of peace and prosperity to which our partnership has contributed. In the face of challenges spawned by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and growing threats to security and stability, our friendship stands steadfast and resolute. Our shared values and experiences pave a path forward to meet these challenges, delivering solutions that are grounded in democratic values, promote respect for human rights, and strengthen the rules-based international order.
The United States and Australia will continue to advance peace, security, and prosperity to ensure an open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific region. Our allies and partners are our greatest strategic asset and central to achieving our collective goals in the region. We will pursue closer cooperation in priority areas including regional security, infrastructure, economic growth technology, democratic resilience, human rights, addressing the climate challenge, and pandemic response.
The Secretaries and Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to working through the Quad to support Indo-Pacific partners to respond to the defining challenges of our time. The Quad is already making a difference on COVID-19 vaccine production and delivery through the Quad Vaccine Partnership, and deepening cooperation on other core regional challenges including climate change, critical and emerging technology, maritime security, infrastructure, cyber, and countering disinformation. The United States and Australia are committed to regular Quad engagement at all levels, including the second Leaders’ Summit scheduled for September 24. Recognizing the importance of the Quad and closeness of our bilateral relationship, the counterparts welcomed confirmation the Governments of the United States and Australia would fund Fulbright scholarships that will focus on our shared interest in the security and prosperity of the region.
The Secretaries and Ministers are firmly committed to Southeast Asia, ASEAN centrality, and ASEAN-led architecture. They underscored the role of the East Asia Summit as the region's premier, leaders-led forum for addressing strategic challenges and expressed their ongoing support for the practical implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. The principals commend Brunei, as ASEAN Chair, for its leadership and reaffirm their support for ASEAN-led initiatives on COVID-19 response and recovery including the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund. MORE