The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America and Australia regarding progress towards health security cooperation as discussed at the 2019 Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN).
“Given the collective threat posed by infectious diseases – whether through naturally occurring outbreaks or deliberate or accidental release – the governments of the United States and Australialaunched a multi-sectoral partnership one year ago to explore concrete opportunities for joint action to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. To date, this bilateral partnership convened by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has made measurable progress towards this goal, including:
- Conducting regular interagency health security dialogues to share information, policy perspectives, and best practices from our respective health security investments;
- Arranging consultations with U.S. government Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) country teams and other in-country experts to support DFAT Health Security Scoping Missions in the Indo-Pacific;
- Collaborating on a regional training course addressing challenges in Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) and implementation of AMR National Action Plans;
- Leadership from both countries on the Steering Group of the multilateral Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA 2024), including collaboration on the Sustainable Financing Action Package and a broader commitment to support the GHSA 2024 target.
- Designing and executing the June 2019 inaugural Military Health Security Summit (MHSS) in Sydney to advance military-civilian cooperation and to gain a common understanding of how militaries contribute to shared global health security goals;
- Encouraging government and civil society action against vector-borne disease threats, in conjunction with the 2018 U.S. Science Envoy on Global Health Security;
- Jointly supporting public health epidemiological workforce development and training in Papua New Guinea to build regional health security capacity.
Recognizing that much work remains to be done to accelerate capacity building for health security in the Indo-Pacific Region, the United States and Australia remain committed to this work. On the occasion of the 2019 AUSMIN, and in support of the goals of the United States Global Health Security Strategy and Australian Health Security Initiative for the Indo-Pacific, our two governments reaffirmed our strong partnership and welcomed continued cooperation throughout the next year and beyond, including activities such as:
- Jointly supporting laboratory biosafety and biosecurity trainings in Australia and Southeast Asia that provide instruction on principles, regulations, and practices;
- Collaborating in the provision of support for Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs) in mutually determined countries in Southeast Asia, as well as jointly supporting implementation the Global Field Epidemiology Roadmap;
- Working together in support of efforts to strengthen public health emergency operations centers and conduct simulation exercises in partner countries in region;
- Coordinating support for One Health capacity building through multilateral partners such as the World Health Organization, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Organisation for Animal Health;
- Aligning U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) Oceania and ADF Joint Medical Command Strategies, including executing health workforce development activities and collaborating on a regional health security event;
- Continuing leadership, high-level engagement, and support for the Global Health Security Agenda and GHSA 2024 target with Indo-Pacific countries;
The United States and Australia look forward to continuing to work together bilaterally, in relevant regional organizations, and in international forums to ensure an Indo-Pacific region safe and secure from the threat posed by infectious diseases.”