Ambassador Berry’s Remarks at the Alliance 21 Reception

I’m very pleased to be with you as we celebrate this major milestone in the Alliance 21 project.

The scope and ambition of this initiative reflect the depth and diversity of the U.S.-Australia relationship.

I thank the U.S. Studies Centre and the Government of Australia for investing significantly in this project.

Some of you have been guests at our Embassy on one occasion or another.

If you’ve looked out into the gardens, you may have noticed a very large oak tree dominating the view off of the patio.

That tree was planted by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt when she came to Canberra at the height of World War II. In her journal, she noted that on her visit to Canberra, she “planted a small tree.”

That “small tree” is in many ways symbolic of our alliance.

Over the past seventy years, it has grown and flourished. It has branched off in many directions. Despite the occasional storm, the tree remains strong, healthy, and vibrant. Its roots anchor it firmly in the soil of Australia – which has nourished it for decades – a defense against whatever may come.

Like that tree, our alliance has weathered storms and war.

We have suffered together, and we have celebrated together. But we have never stopped working to grow and strengthen our alliance.

Like that tree, we have branched out from security and defense cooperation to trade and investment, to fighting against crime and terror, and to preserving our world for the generations that will follow.

But we cannot rest on our laurels.

We can and should do more together.

We must seek out opportunities to build on our existing partnership.

Ambassador John Berry – Parliament House

We must increase our cooperation and engagement bilaterally, regionally, and around the globe.

Our alliance was built on security cooperation.

We reaffirm and renew our understanding of the alliance every year during AUSMIN.

Over time, our understanding of what security means has grown to include economic and energy security and the protection of the global commons of space and cyberspace.

It also means that we help out our neighbors when they are hurt by natural disasters, and that the region benefits when we build more capacity to address these challenges.

And we’re working together to protect our communities.

Just this week, the fruits of cooperation between the FBI, the AFP, and Victoria police were on display in Melbourne as we worked together to deny resources to terrorist networks.

We have expanded our relationship in other ways.

Our free trade agreement has led to huge expansions in our bilateral trade and investment.

Together, we are partners in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which seeks to establish a high standards agreement to govern the rules of the road for trade in the Asia Pacific region for the coming decades.

We are working to develop the energy solutions of the future.

We are creating new medicines and conserving our precious natural resources.

We are also bringing our people closer together through programs like the newly-established Alliance 21 Fellowship, which we announced in the wake of AUSMIN in Sydney.

Together with the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney and the Perth USAsia Centre at the University of Western Australia, we will support the exchange of senior scholars and policy analysts between our countries over the next three years.

They will examine the shared interests and benefits of the alliance and engage with students, scholars, policymakers, the media, and the broader public. We are looking forward to welcoming our first Fellow in 2015.

What all of this means, and what Alliance 21 recognizes, is that ours is not an ordinary, one-dimensional alliance.

Ambassador John Berry – Parliament House

It is something greater and more powerful that is firmly planted in the values we share.

We are not allies because of geography.

We are not allies because it is convenient.

We are not allies out of obligation.

We are allies because we share the common foundational values of liberty, justice, democracy, and respect for human dignity and freedom.

We are allies because neither one of us walks away from our friends.

In our darkest days, we have always stood together – and we always will.

Thank you.