AUKUS members renew pledge to strengthen defence ties

Member nations have issued a joint statement reaffirming their collective commitment to strengthening trilateral security relationship.

Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States have marked the one-year anniversary of AUKUS with a joint statement renewing a shared commitment to enhancing the trilateral security partnership to support an international order that “respects human rights, the rule of law, and the peaceful resolution of disputes free from coercion”.

The AUKUS partners reported making “significant progress” towards supporting Australia’s acquisition of “conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines”.

“We are steadfast in our commitment to Australia acquiring this capability at the earliest possible date,” the statement read.

Amid concerns over the program’s adherence to nuclear-non-proliferation agreements, the members stressed a commitment to the “highest level of nuclear safety, security, and stewardship, reiterating Australia would not acquire nuclear weapons.

“The United States and United Kingdom are fully committed to establishing an approach to sharing naval nuclear propulsion technology with Australia that meets the highest non-proliferation standard,” the members noted.

The members then welcomed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director General Mariano Grossi’s report to the September IAEA board of governors meeting, which reported “satisfaction” with the program.

“The international community can be confident that our nations will continue to work transparently with the IAEA towards an approach that will strengthen the non-proliferation regime,” the AUKUS nations added.

The nations went on to confirm plans to strengthen cooperation on the development of emerging technologies, including hypersonics and counter-hypersonics, electronic warfare capabilities, cyber, artificial intelligence and autonomy, quantum technologies, and additional undersea capabilities.

“To support further progress on these initiatives, we continue to promote greater information and technology sharing, foster deeper integration of our industrial bases and supply chains, and accelerate our defence innovation enterprises,” the statement read.

“As our work progresses on these and other critical defence and security capabilities, we will seek opportunities to engage allies and close partners.”

AUKUS members concluded: “Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States have a proud history of working together, along with other allies and partners, to protect our shared values and uphold the rules-based international order.”

Defence Connect

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