Annual Report 2006-2007

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Appendix 1

Ministerial responsibilities

The Hon. Alexander Downer, MPMinister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP

Mr Downer has overall responsibility for the portfolio, including the department’s administration and management, and all non-trade international political, multilateral and legal issues (including the treaty-making process), consular and passport functions, and development assistance matters. In addition, he is responsible for all human rights, arms control and disarmament issues, peacekeeping, and the non-trade related aspects of the UN system. Mr Downer shares responsibility for international security issues with the Minister for Defence and is also responsible for taking the lead on international efforts to combat terrorism. International environment issues, while primarily the responsibility of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in many cases also fall within the responsibility of the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources. Mr Downer has primary carriage of non-trade related public affairs activities and questions of protocol. He also has responsibility for the administration and management of AusAID, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

The Hon. Warren Truss, MPMinister for Trade, The Hon. Warren Truss, MP

Mr Truss is responsible for all trade matters—bilateral, regional and multilateral—and has responsibility for Austrade (including TradeStart and the Export Market Development Grants scheme) and the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC). Bilateral responsibilities include free trade agreements and other trade and economic agreements with important trading partners. Regional responsibilities include APEC and ASEAN Free Trade Area–Australia and New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (AFTA—CER) arrangements. Multilateral responsibilities include the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In the WTO context, Mr Truss chairs the 19-member Cairns Group of fair agricultural trading nations. WTO rules cover trade in goods (both agricultural and non-agricultural products), trade in services, trade-related intellectual property rights, as well as the dispute settlement system for managing trade disputes between WTO members. When travelling overseas to promote and advance Australian trade and commercial interests, Mr Truss often leads industry missions.

The Hon. Greg Hunt, MPParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon. Greg Hunt, MP

Mr Hunt is responsible for the day-to-day management of issues related to the aid program, and provides assistance to Mr Downer in carrying out his responsibility for aid policy. Mr Hunt takes an active role in informing the Australian public about the aid program and in raising awareness through the media and public events. He works with non-government organisations, the business community, academia and other key stakeholders to engage them in Australia’s aid program. Mr Hunt promotes recognition of the efforts of Australian volunteers in developing countries. Mr Hunt is the Government’s Special Representative on Mine Action. He also takes an active role in the promotion and support of the consular and passports functions of the portfolio, in particular raising community awareness about travel advisory services and taking forward the relationship with the travel industry, including through the Charter for Safe Travel and the Smartraveller Consultative Group.

Further information about the Ministers and the Parliamentary Secretaries is available from the department's website at

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