PM Transcripts - Prime Ministers of Australia

Brazil-Australia Strategic Partnership

Prime Minister - Gillard, Julia

Media release - 21 June 2012



Her Excellency, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister of Australia, visited Brazil from 20-22 June 2012 at the invitation of Her Excellency President Dilma Rousseff and to attend the Rio+20 conference. The two leaders held official talks on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.

Taking into consideration the progress made in recent years towards the strengthening of bilateral relations and with a view to giving expression to the deepening ties and growing shared role of the two countries in the world, President Dilma Rousseff and Prime Minister Julia Gillard agreed to take the Brazil-Australia relationship to the level of a strategic partnership.

The leaders agreed the following statement:

Bilateral Agenda

1. The leaders expressed their determination to strengthen the bilateral dialogue between Brazil and Australia and to increase bilateral cooperation based on the shared values of democracy, human rights, cultural diversity, trade liberalisation, multilateralism, environmental protection, defense of international peace and security, and promotion of development with social justice.

2. The two leaders expressed satisfaction with their growing mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation, including in the context of the Enhanced Partnership agreed in September, 2010. They noted the results of the implementation of the Plan of Action encompassing political, social and economic relations, in areas such as trade, investment, energy, agriculture, science and technology, education, judicial affairs, sports and culture.

3. They welcomed the planned signature of the Agreement on Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation, which will support and enhance collaboration among research institutions and industries from both countries.

4. The two leaders agreed to start a program of placement of students and scholars in each other's institutes of excellence, in the context of the Brazilian program “Science without Borders”. They welcomed the signature of Memoranda of Understanding, between the "Group of Eight" and the Federal Agency of Support and evaluation of Postgraduate Education (CAPES) and the National Council of Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq), as well as between the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN)and both these bodies. These instruments will promote bilateral cooperation among institutions of excellence in both countries on postgraduate education and research, as well as the interchange of scientists, students and teachers.

5. President Dilma Rousseff and Prime Minister Julia Gillard also welcomed the progress achieved in strengtheningcooperation in criminal matters and noted with satisfaction the planned signature of the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.

6. Both leaders recognised the important role played by Brazilian citizens in Australia and by Australian citizens in Brazil. They decided to improve bilateral cooperation on consular matters.

7. They also welcomed the partnership between Brazil and Australia for the development of trilateral cooperation and the progress achieved in the implementation of projects for the construction of clean water cisterns in Haiti. They welcomed the work carried out by the Brazilian Agency of Cooperation and AusAID with a view to identify further areas for trilateral cooperation in countries of Africa and in East Timor.

8. President Dilma Rousseff and Prime Minister Julia Gillard noted with satisfaction the growing trade and investment links between Australia and Brazil. The important role of business and civil society in ensuring increasing trade and investment flows was underlined.

9. They highlighted the progress achieved in the field of energy and recognised the potential for further cooperation and investment, in areas such as renewable energy, biofuels, oil and gas and mining.

10. The two leaders noted with satisfaction the increase in bilateral investment flows in the agribusiness sector and reiterated their interest in promoting reciprocal technical and business missions with a view to improve cooperation, trade and investment in agribusiness.

11. President Dilma Rousseff welcomed announcement by Prime Minister Julia Gillard that Australia will hold a focus program of cultural activities in Brazil in 2016.

12. The two leaders expect that the entry into force of the bilateral Air Services Agreement will provide the appropriate conditions for the consolidation of air transportation links between Brazil and Australia.

Multilateral Agenda

13. The two leaders expressed satisfaction with the results of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). Prime Minister Julia Gillard congratulated President Dilma Rousseff on the successful organisation of the Conference and several other events held in Rio de Janeiro on that occasion. She also congratulated the President on her personal role as President of the Conference. President Dilma Rousseff acknowledged the important contribution made by Prime Minister Julia Gillard to the results of the Conference. The two leaders expressed their confidence that the two countries will continue strengthening their cooperation and dialogue on environmental issues and sustainable development, including in its social, economic and environmental dimensions.

14. They underlined that Brazil and Australia have increasingly shared interests in a world being reshaped by globalisation and new patterns of economic growth. This changing world calls for different networks of international partnerships. The two leaders' commitment to a deeper and broader relationship between Brazil and Australia is a recognition of these profound changes.

15. The rapid pace of globalisation brings Brazil's and Australia's interests together more intensely than before. The geographic distance matters less than their shared values and interests.

16. Australia and Brazil share an historic commitment to multilateral institutions, from their founding membership of the United Nations through to their present-day membership of the G20. They see these institutions as vital to bringing together developed and emerging nations and to help ensure prosperity and security in a changing world.

17. They discussedthe present international economic situation and agreed on theimportance of fiscal and monetary measures being set nationally and elsewhere to ensure global stability. They reaffirmed their willingness to deepen cooperation on G20 issues and emphasised the importance of prompt implementation of governance reforms already agreed and the completion of discussions on the formula for the review of IMF quotas.

18. The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of reform of the United Nations to better reflect today's complex international agenda. They reaffirmed their commitment to contribute to the reform of the United Nations, including the reform of the Security Council. They reiterated the importance of increasing the number of permanent and non-permanent members of the UNSC and improving the Council's working methods, in order to make it more representative and responsive to the today's political and economic global challenges. President Dilma Rousseff warmly welcomed Australia's continued support for Brazil as a permanent member in a reformed United Nations Security Council. Brazilunderlined Australia´s continued contribution to international peace and security under the UN Charter and, in this context, acknowledged Australia's credentials for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for the 2013-2014 term.

19. They also stressed their firm commitment to the settlement of disputes by peaceful means and highlighted the importance of sustained efforts of preventive diplomacy and mediation. They shared the view that the international community must be rigorous in its efforts to value, seek and exhaust all peaceful and diplomatic means available to protect populations under threat of violence, in accordance with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and as embodied in the 2005 World Summit Outcome.Australiawelcomed Brazil´s efforts to deepen discussions and refine concepts related to these issues.

20. The leaders reiterated both countries' strong resolve to support international efforts towards nuclear disarmament, aiming to achieve the peace and security of a world free of nuclear weapons. In this regard, they expressed support for the review cycle of the Treaty for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). They assigned high priority to the goals identified in the Action Plan adopted by the VIII NPT Review Conference, which includes the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), the beginning of negotiations on a treaty related to fissile materials for explosive purposes and the undertaking of additional efforts for the reduction and final elimination of all types of nuclear weapons.

21. The two leaders recalled the commitment to democracy and the belief in good international citizenship shared by both countries. These values inform their approach to the world, from the commitment to the Millennium Development Goals and protecting the world's environment to their shared contributions to international peacekeeping. These closely shared values underline the commitment of both countries to act internationally to each other's mutual benefit, as well as to the benefit of people of countries most in need.

22. The two leaders also recognised that Brazil and Australia have much in common in their economic structures, as they are both major exporters of agricultural products, minerals and energy. As their markets are global in nature, it is in the two countries' mutual interest to share expertise on common concerns such as food and resources security and cooperation in science and technology. Bilateral cooperation will help contribute to sustainable economic growth in both countries and beyond, as well as to the food, resources and energy security.

23. President Dilma Rousseff and Prime Minister Julia Gillard shared the view that international trade plays a fundamental role in the promotion of growth and development. They reaffirmed their commitment to the rules-based multilateral trading system and the World Trade Organization's (WTO) role in upholding it. The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to achieving a successful conclusion of the Doha Development Round, as soon as possible.

24. Brazil's commitment to regional integration in South America and Australia's commitment in the Asia-Pacific region were also acknowledged. Both leaders agreed to work together to promote regular dialogue between MERCOSUR, Australia and New Zealand, as agreed in December, 2010, in Foz do Iguaçu.

Strategic Partnership

High-Level Meetings

25. Recognising the important role of the high-level political dialogue in the promotion of bilateral cooperation, the two leaders agreed to intensify contacts between the two nations by committing to regular leaders meetings to discuss key issues of mutual interest to Brazil and Australia as well as shared action in multilateral institutions.

26. The leaders encouraged the regular exchanges of visits between Ministers as well as high-level government officials, for further discussion on areas of mutual interest, as set out in this statement and the Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of an Enhanced Partnership. They also instructed officials to organise the meeting of the bilateral Trade and Investment Facilitation and Promotion Group as soon as possible.

Priority Areas of Dialogue and Cooperation

27. Officials of both countries were instructed to continue to work together, within the framework of the Plan of Action set out in the memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of an Enhanced Partnership, to raise the level of engagement and cooperation between Brazil and Australia in the areas of trade and investment, climate change and the environment, agriculture, mining and energy (including biofuels), education, culture and other people--to-people links. They also highlighted the importance of the mechanism of political consultations between the two Foreign Ministries to advance bilateral relations and exchange views on regional and international issues.

28. The two Heads of Government emphasised the importance they attach to develop even further the dialogue on the following areas:

* The Global Economy: As G20 members, both countries recognise that global prosperity depends on close cooperation between the major developed and emerging economies. They agree that the G20 has become established as the world's pre-eminent forum for international economic cooperation, playing a critical role in responding to international economic crisis and addressing longer-term challenges, including reforms to the global financial and monetary systems. They agreed to work together to support effective responses to international economic challenges, setting the path to a durable and sustainable global economic recovery, and long term global prosperity.
* International Security: Braziland Australia share a strong tradition of supporting effective international measures to address global security challenges, including nuclear proliferation and terrorism. The two leaders agreed that with growing global interests in common, Brazilian and Australian foreign policy and defense officials will meet for the first time in a regular dialogue.
* Trade and Investment: The leaders reiterated their strong commitment to the multilateral trading system and, as G20 members, to support open and effective trade to minimise trade-distorting measures. As members of the Cairns Group of Agricultural Fair Traders, they agreed to further strengthen cooperative efforts to progress multilateral agricultural trade reform in seeking a fair and market-oriented agricultural trading system. They agreed to further deepen bilateral trade and investment ties, including through engagement between business councils from each country.
* Resources and Energy: They noted that the two nations are major global producers of resources and energy. They agreed that the two governments would deepen the dialogue and, where appropriate, practical cooperation on issues of mutual interest such as energy security and market volatility, renewable energy and biofuels. They noted upcoming practical examples of cooperation including the visit by a parliamentary delegation from Brazil to Western Australia to study mining in indigenous lands.
* Education: They agreed that the institutions and peak bodies of the respective university and vocational educational systems should cooperate even more closely. They noted that both countries have developed comprehensive scholarship programs through the Australian Government's Australia Awards and the Brazilian Government's Science without Borders program. These programs will encourage and support stronger ties between the two countries, and promote greater understanding between the future government, education and industry leaders, as well as deepening understanding of the respective regions.
* Science and Technology: Braziland Australia share many common environmental conditions and economic structures, including strong agricultural export industries. These industries are beneficiaries of the Agreement on Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation that has been negotiated between the two countries. They also agreed to increase cooperation on agricultural production and to enhance practical cooperation between science organisations, such as CSIRO and ACIAR in Australia and EMBRAPA in Brazil.
* Development Cooperation: As both Brazil and Australia manage significant international aid programs, they have agreed to intensify cooperation between development agencies, including in the context of the G20 development agenda. Through the Memorandum of Understanding on Development Cooperation, signed in December, 2010, they envisage that both countries' agencies will share their expertise in the management and governance of aid programs.
* Environment and Sustainable Development: Recognising the high priority that must be given to the sustainable development agenda, the two Heads of Government decided to initiate a regular dialogue on sustainable development and environment, including climate change, forests, biodiversity and environmental governance. The twoleaders reiterated their firm intention to continue their efforts, bilaterally and multilaterally, in favor of sustainability policies.
* Natural Disasters: As leaders of vast countries exposed to extreme weather events, especially in the tropics, as well as being leaders in humanitarian aid to less developed countries, they agree to implement the Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation on Disasters Resilience. This will enhance the exchange of expertise between the two nations and ensure their governments and communities are best placed to withstand and recover from natural disasters both domestically and internationally.