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 Home > News & Policies > November 2003

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 20, 2003

US/UK Joint Statement on Multilateralism
Effective Multilateralism to Build a Better World Joint Statement by President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair

President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair reaffirm the unique alliance of values and common purpose that binds the United States and the United Kingdom. We confront great challenges: global terrorism, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, poverty and disease, and hostile dictators who oppress their own people and threaten peace. We, and our allies among the world's democracies, have a special responsibility to take action and mobilize international institutions to meet these challenges and build a more secure, just, and prosperous world.

We applaud the achievements of the Transatlantic Alliance, the foundation of our security, under whose aegis Europe whole, free, and at peace is becoming reality. We welcome NATO's major and growing role in Afghanistan, and its support for the Polish-led multinational division in Iraq. We welcome NATO's new cooperation with Russia, Ukraine, and other members of the Partnership for Peace. We reaffirm our support for a European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) of the European Union that improves Europe's capabilities to act, and develops in a way that is fully coordinated, compatible, and transparent with NATO. We seek a dynamic, mutually-reinforcing relationship between NATO and the EU, without duplication and divisiveness, and grounded in the essential NATO-EU agreements which underpin it. With new members and new capabilities, NATO will be a cornerstone of world security in the 21st century.

We urge all nations to join together in common purpose, to put aside temporary disagreements, and to recognize our responsibility to work for the common good in the world. Our tasks are great, but so are our capabilities, when we work together.

Effective multilateralism, and neither unilateralism nor international paralysis, will guide our approach. We must:

" Launch efforts to promote freedom in the nations of the greater Middle East. We have a vision of this region moving toward peace through freedom. We cannot sacrifice our commitment to democracy to purchase security, for in that case we shall have neither. We applaud those in the region striving to advance human rights and economic freedom, fight corruption, and advance equal justice under law. The leaders of the Transatlantic community and the G8 must find new ways to cooperate with the people and states of the region to promote democratic development, economic freedom, and security, over the years that true transformation will take. We will work in partnership with those leaders in the region who are promoting political and economic reform and development.

We reaffirm our commitment to the vision of peace between two states - Israel and Palestine - living side by side in peace and security. The Roadmap to peace remains the way to achieve this vision, and we call on all parties to fulfill their obligations under its terms, taking effective action to stop all terrorism, and refraining from steps that would prevent or prejudge the terms of a final settlement. To this end, we will remain actively involved with the leaders of the region and work closely with the international community.

" Continue the fight against international terrorism. What we have begun we will finish. Terrorists must know no sanctuary, neither in the mountains of Afghanistan or Iraq, nor hidden in the cities of Europe or America, nor disguised as freedom fighters or charities. We will continue to enhance our joint, bilateral work, internationally and through strengthened domestic cooperation.

" Strengthen global efforts against proliferators of weapons of mass destruction. We must increase international capacity and will to deal effectively with this threat. We will intensify efforts to counter both Iran's and also North Korea's dangerous nuclear programs; and also strengthen the basis for multilateral counter-proliferation and non-proliferation actions, including through the Proliferation Security Initiative and through our upcoming G8 Presidencies.

" Promote global health. Fighting the global HIV/AIDS pandemic requires sustained international effort, coordination, and resources. The U.S. and UK will work together to strengthen efforts in prevention, treatment, care, and support, beginning in five African countries. To further this collaborative effort, we will establish a Special Joint Task Force on HIV/AIDS. This Task Force will focus our national efforts, and enlist the efforts of others, aimed at the struggle against HIV/AIDS. We will pursue a comprehensive approach to expanding the delivery of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment, including greater access to safe and effective medicines, better health system delivery, and building a skilled force of health workers. We share a commitment to rapidly increasing the availability of HIV treatment in the most affected countries, to reducing HIV infection rates, and to developing programs to provide care and support for those infected with, and affected by, HIV/AIDS, including orphans and vulnerable children. We call on others to join us to fulfill the G8 goal of eradication of polio by 2005.

" Support development in Africa. We reaffirm our support for Africa and for NEPAD, through the G8 Africa Action Plan. We have agreed to work to support the development of effective African mechanisms to prevent conflict and run peacekeeping operations; continue to work for a return to democratically-accountable government and the rule of law in Zimbabwe; and support the building of peace in Liberia and Sierra Leone. We will deliver on the commitments we made at Monterrey and in the Africa Action Plan to improve the effectiveness of our development assistance. We welcome the launch of the Africa Partnership Forum, expanding the international support for Africa's development. Building Africa's foundation for success is our shared goal, and we commit to support the Forum's efforts in the region. We will work through bilateral and multilateral channels to improve trade opportunities in Africa.

" Advance an open trade regime. We are committed to an open, fair, and multilateral world trading system. Recognizing that WTO Ministerial in Cancun was a missed opportunity, we reaffirm our commitment to a successful conclusion of the WTO's Doha Development Agenda. We will work with our international partners to achieve a successful conclusion to the Round that will benefit both developed and developing countries. We call for a resumption of the negotiations, and encourage all parties to make serious and substantial contributions to these important negotiations.

" Increase technological cooperation on cleaner energy. We will bring together our scientific and technological strengths to accelerate development of practical and efficient technologies for the use and production of clean energy. To help improve human health by reducing pollution, and address the challenge of climate change by mitigating greenhouse gases, we have established a joint team to implement the energy, science and technology commitments from Evian through both of our G8 Presidencies.

" Deepen defense cooperation. We will work to remove barriers to increased defense industrial cooperation, interoperability, and information exchange. Our goals include achieving fair and consistent reciprocal access to each other's equipment markets, maximizing information sharing, and extending joint working and training opportunities. We will create a closer and more open relationship by the removal of outdated barriers between our armed forces and officials. We consider it a high priority to implement a licensing exemption that will facilitate defense trade between our countries. We reaffirm our strong commitment to proceed with the Joint Strike Fighter project.

" Promote innovative education initiatives. We are committed to increasing the number and quality of U.S.-UK school partnerships. To this end, we are inaugurating a new annual prize - the Transatlantic Education Prize - to reward schools for particularly creative and innovative partnerships. The first prizes will be awarded early next year and will include reciprocal visits for head teachers and principals.

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