Australia-NATO Joint Political Declaration

  • 14 Jun. 2012
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  • Last updated: 18 Jan. 2013 13:03

  1. The Australia-NATO relationship is based on the values we share, our experience of working together in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan and a common vision to promote stability and peace through cooperation. We are committed to building on this foundation, through greater practical cooperation and enhanced political dialogue, to strengthen our partnership in our mutual interests.

  2. Australia and NATO are dedicated to the values of individual liberty, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. We affirm our adherence to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations (UN). We are steadfast in our support for global peace and prosperity and a rules-based international order.

  3. We recognise that while Australia and the member nations of NATO are geographically distant, we would benefit from close cooperation on global security challenges. In our inter-linked, globalised world, we must have a wider outlook on our security interests. The objectives and strategies of NATO’s 2010 Strategic Concept and Australia’s 2009 Defence White Paper have much in common. Fundamentally we are each determined to safeguard the freedom and security of our citizens, and the values that we share.

  4. We recognise the increasing economic and strategic influence of Asia and that strong and inclusive architecture in the Asia-Pacific region - as it is in the Euro-Atlantic region - will be fundamental to global security and prosperity.

  5. We acknowledge our shared strategic interests in an international order that avoids aggression and promotes the peaceful settlement of disputes.

  6. We understand the need to manage effectively risks and threats to our mutual interest, such as political instability from failed states, terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and cyber attacks.

  7. We are committed to cooperating in order to face these emerging security challenges and enhance our joint ability to confront them.

  8. Australia welcomes the endorsement by NATO Foreign Ministers at their Berlin meeting in April 2011 of NATO’s new Policy for a More Efficient and Flexible Partnership, which offers partners greater consultation on security issues of common concern, and a simpler and more streamlined set of partnership activities. Australia particularly welcomes the decision to formalise the role of operational partners in shaping strategy and decisions in NATO-led missions to which they contribute.

  9. Australia and NATO individually undertake long-term strategic and defence planning so that our goals and motivations are transparent.

  10. We recognise that our forces need to have sufficient resources to prevent threats and, in extreme cases, enforce the peace and open the way for political solutions to conflict. In the face of financial constraints, our military resources and capabilities must be used in the most efficient and effective way possible, through a continuous process of reform, modernisation and transformation.

  11. We will continue developing our ability to work hand in hand in coordinated civil-military operations, to promote stability and recovery in fragile and conflict-affected states.

  12. We are each committed to deterring conflict through multilateral cooperation, and recognise that the best guarantee of global security and stability arises from support for international frameworks which encourage states to resolve differences through dialogue without resorting to the use of force.

  13. We welcome the development over recent years of political dialogue and practical cooperation between Australia and NATO, evidenced by the conclusion of the Agreement on the Protection of Classified Information, a series of high-level visits and Australian participation in NATO training, exercises and operations.

  14. Australia is one of the leading contributors to the NATO-led ISAF mission in Afghanistan, which works under a UN Security Council mandate and at the invitation of the Afghan Government. With our sustained support, the Afghan Government and its security forces are on track to assume full security responsibility for their country by the end of 2014, in accordance with the transition process agreed by the international community and the Afghan Government. Australia and NATO will continue to work together to ensure this transition is sustainable and irreversible. We reaffirm our long-term commitment to Afghanistan.

  15. Australia and NATO honour the service and sacrifice of our military forces, as well as the efforts of our civilian personnel, and those of other ISAF nations, in Afghanistan.

  16. Australia and NATO are committed to an ongoing partnership which will complement the longstanding bilateral alliances and ties between Australia and individual NATO member nations.

  17. Reflecting our deepening engagement, Australia has designated its Brussels-based representative to NATO as Ambassador to NATO.

  18. Australia and NATO will undertake regular high-level political dialogue on mutually-identified security issues of common concern. This dialogue will augment the regular discussions between officials. Australia and NATO will consult on security developments with a view to preventing crises and, when required, contribute to their management. We have experiences to share in managing crises and conflicts, stabilising post-conflict situations, supporting reconstruction, and facilitating humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

  19. Australia and NATO welcome the development of an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme and look forward to enhancing our practical cooperation in a spirit of joint ownership.