This week's "Photo of the Week" comes to us from Travis Longmore of the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, Australia, and shows Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Australian Foreign Minister Robert Carr paying their respects at a wreath-laying ceremony at the State War Memorial at Kings Park and Botanic Garden in Perth, Australia, November 14, 2012.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta joined Secretary Clinton for the annual Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) with Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith and Australian Foreign Minister Robert Carr. The American and Australian principals discussed security cooperation and other regional and global issues. After the consultations, AUSMIN concluded with a press conference and the release of the AUSMIN 2012 Joint Communique. The Joint Communique highlights five priorities:
1. On Asia-Pacific security, we discussed the progress of the U.S. rebalance toward the region. We underscored the vital roles played by Japan, the Republic of Korea and the members of ASEAN in forging a strong and resilient region. We welcomed a strong, prosperous and peaceful China, which plays a constructive role in promoting regional security and prosperity. We recognized the growing importance of India in the region and the Indian Ocean's importance to trade, maritime security, and strategic and defense planning. We welcomed Myanmar/Burma's ongoing democratic and economic reform process, which is of great significance for the region
2. On regional dialogue, we underscored the importance of regional institutions in promoting peace, stability and security, encouraging economic integration and development and protecting human rights. We noted the significant challenges these institutions (such as ASEAN, the East Asia Summit, and the IOR-ARC) could help address, including in areas such as health, education, natural disasters, energy security, the environment and maritime security. We reaffirmed our support for economic institutions that foster growth and market openness, and deepen economic integration in the Asia Pacific and globally.
3. On global security, we discussed Afghanistan, Iran, and Syria. We decided to intensify cooperation to meet emerging security challenges in space and cyberspace. We reflected on the importance of space-enabled systems and cyberspace to our economies, societies and national security, and affirmed our common interest in ensuring the safety, stability, sustainability and security of space and cyberspace.
4. On global development, we emphasized our shared commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as reflected in the USAID-AusAID Memorandum of Understanding on International Development Cooperation. We acknowledged the progress made in achieving the fundamental goal of reducing extreme poverty globally by half, but recognized that further global commitment is needed. We recognized the challenges and opportunities of reform in Myanmar/Burma, and are working closely to encourage human development in that country and to resolve the status of stateless people. We reaffirmed our commitment to development in Afghanistan. Underscoring the centrality of gender equality to political, economic, social and human development, we reiterated our support for the empowerment of women and girls.
5. On bilateral defense cooperation, we reiterate that the Alliance is above all about practical cooperation and collaboration, whether through training and exercises, combined operations or intelligence sharing. In discussing our current efforts and future initiatives, we have brought forward a new and important element of this cooperation by signing a Memorandum of Understanding on the relocation and establishment of a jointly-operated US C-Band space surveillance radar at the Harold E. Holt Naval Communication Station in Western Australia. We have also decided to work towards the relocation of a highly advanced U.S. Space Surveillance Telescope to Australia. We affirmed our commitment to strengthening our capacity to contribute to integrated civil-military operations, recognizing the increasing complexity of the kinds of contingencies that we continue to face together and with other partners. Such investment in bilateral preparedness reinforces our combined capacity to respond effectively with other partners to disasters, humanitarian emergencies and fragile and conflict-affected states across the Asia-Pacific and globally.
You can view more photos of Secretary Clinton in Australia here. You can stay tuned to the DipNote blog and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up-to-date with the Secretary as she continues her travels to Singapore and accompanies President Obama to Thailand, Burma, and Cambodia.