ANZAC Defence Ministers build on close links to enhance effectiveness in Asia-Pacific Region

New Zealand Defence Min­is­ter Wayne Mapp met his Aus­tralian coun­ter­part Stephen Smith in Welling­ton today to dis­cuss a range of defence and secu­ri­ty issues.
Min­is­ters acknowl­edged the impor­tance of our close and endur­ing defence rela­tion­ship, based on a com­mon his­to­ry, a shared strate­gic out­look, and stick­ing togeth­er in trou­bled times.

This was espe­cial­ly evi­dent in the offers of assis­tance fol­low­ing the mul­ti­ple dis­as­ters that have recent­ly affect­ed our coun­tries: Trop­i­cal Cyclone Yasi, the Queens­land Floods, the Pike Riv­er Coal Mine Dis­as­ter, and the Can­ter­bury Earthquake.

“Today’s meet­ing pro­vid­ed both coun­tries with the oppor­tu­ni­ty to dis­cuss strate­gic defence and secu­ri­ty pri­or­i­ties in the region, to high­light progress in com­bined oper­a­tions and activ­i­ties, and to give our respec­tive defence organ­i­sa­tions the strate­gic guid­ance they need for our essen­tial and grow­ing bilat­er­al coop­er­a­tion in 2011,” Min­is­ter Smith said. Min­is­ters dis­cussed a range of joint ini­tia­tives to take for­ward over the com­ing year, with a focus on pro­mot­ing secu­ri­ty and sta­bil­i­ty in the Asia-Pacif­ic region.

Fol­low­ing com­ple­tion of our respec­tive White Papers, Min­is­ters have com­mis­sioned a review to deter­mine how to strength­en strate­gic coop­er­a­tion and pri­or­i­ty set­ting for ANZAC engage­ment. Min­is­ters asked Sec­re­taries in their respec­tive Depart­ments to pro­duce a joint report by 31 July 2011 detail­ing pre­lim­i­nary pro­pos­als to improve bilat­er­al engage­ment struc­tures and strength­en strate­gic bilat­er­al exchanges. The review would also detail pro­pos­als to ensure cost-effi­cient coop­er­a­tion, includ­ing in rela­tion to com­ple­men­tary mil­i­tary capa­bil­i­ties that will improve pri­ori­ti­sa­tion, and the effi­cient imple­men­ta­tion of ANZAC poli­cies. This review will ensure the bilat­er­al rela­tion­ship is best able to deal with the defence and strate­gic chal­lenges con­fronting both countries.

Min­is­ters were pleased to note the Pacif­ic-focused Ready Response Force (RRF), ini­ti­at­ed in Sep­tem­ber 2009, will be finalised in March, with New Zealand Defence Force per­son­nel to be placed at the Deploy­able Joint Forces Head­quar­ters in Brisbane. 

“We have agreed that, to main­tain a robust capa­bil­i­ty to respond to region­al con­tin­gen­cies, the Aus­tralian and New Zealand defence forces will joint­ly devel­op and exer­cise plans under the RRF for a com­mon response to con­tin­gen­cies, includ­ing human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance and dis­as­ter relief. This will build on our long his­to­ry of close oper­a­tional coop­er­a­tion and give tan­gi­ble expres­sion to clos­er ANZAC ties in the mod­ern age,” said Min­is­ter Mapp.

Min­is­ters also announced the shar­ing of key capa­bil­i­ties, includ­ing HMNZS Can­ter­bury, as part of the RRF ban­ner, with a view to ear­ly oppor­tu­ni­ties to exer­cise plan­ning func­tions and amphibi­ous interoperability. 

HMNZS Canterbury’s amphibi­ous-lift capa­bil­i­ty will be par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant in our region over the next few years in light of the Roy­al Aus­tralian Navy’s (RAN) tran­si­tion to a new amphibi­ous capa­bil­i­ty. Dur­ing the tran­si­tion peri­od, the RAN faces chal­lenges in amphibi­ous capa­bil­i­ty. The inte­gra­tion of HMNZS Can­ter­bury in this way is a prac­ti­cal exam­ple of ANZAC coop­er­a­tion which can ben­e­fit our region, par­tic­u­lar­ly in human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance and dis­as­ter relief,” said Min­is­ter Smith. 

Min­is­ters fur­ther high­light­ed the suc­cess­ful rein­vig­o­ra­tion of the Aus­tralia-New Zealand Air­lift Agree­ment – an ini­tia­tive devel­oped at the pre­vi­ous Defence Min­is­ters’ Meet­ing in Syd­ney in 2009. By stream­lin­ing air­lift pro­ce­dures and improv­ing trans-Tas­man com­mu­ni­ca­tion, our air forces have pro­duced a more effi­cient and effec­tive ANZAC air­lift capa­bil­i­ty, which will com­ple­ment the RRF.

Min­is­ters dis­cussed Aus­tralia and New Zealand’s sup­port for Pacif­ic island coun­tries, includ­ing through the Pacif­ic patrol boat pro­gramme, which pro­motes indige­nous mar­itime secu­ri­ty capac­i­ty. Dr Mapp announced that New Zealand will pro­vide a mar­itime sur­veil­lance advis­er to the Cook Islands in sup­port of the patrol boat gift­ed to that coun­try by Aus­tralia. Min­is­ter Smith also wel­comed the deci­sion by New Zealand to join the ADF’s endur­ing efforts to pro­vide fur­ther sup­port for Pacif­ic island part­ners through the removal of unex­plod­ed ord­nance in Oper­a­tion RENDER SAFE.

In addi­tion, the Aus­tralian and New Zealand defence organ­i­sa­tions have decid­ed to expand their coop­er­a­tion in Eng­lish lan­guage train­ing for region­al mil­i­taries, start­ing with Viet­nam, to increase the num­bers of per­son­nel eli­gi­ble for train­ing cours­es in New Zealand and Australia.

Min­is­ter Mapp passed on the con­do­lences of the peo­ple of New Zealand at the recent death of Cor­po­ral Atkin­son of the ADF in Afghanistan. Min­is­ters expressed the view that 2011 would be a crit­i­cal year for the inter­na­tion­al coali­tion in Afghanistan, as the process of tran­si­tion is like­ly to begin with the Gov­ern­ment of Afghanistan assum­ing secu­ri­ty respon­si­bil­i­ty for parts of the country. 

New Zealand and Aus­tralia have a strong secu­ri­ty rela­tion­ship based on a long his­to­ry of coop­er­a­tion, going back to the ANZACs in the First World War. “This coop­er­a­tion con­tin­ues to this day with com­bined oper­a­tions in the Solomon Islands and Tim­or-Leste. Through the ini­tia­tives agreed at today’s meet­ing, our coun­tries will con­tin­ue to expand our already very exten­sive defence ties and demon­strate our con­tin­ued com­mit­ment to secu­ri­ty in the region,” the Min­is­ters said. 

Media Con­tacts:
Mr Mapp’s Office: Geoff Davies 04 817 9566 or 021 243 9566
Mr Smith’s Office: Mary Bag­nall + 61 434 665 067 or + 61 2 6277 7800 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →