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Australian Government - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally

Australian Government - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally



OUTCOME 1: The advancement of Australia’s international strategic, security and economic interests including through bilateral, regional and multilateral engagement on Australian Government foreign and trade policy priorities

Program 1.1: Foreign Affairs and Trade operations

Program 1.1 Objective

  • To protect and advance the national interest through engaging in effective advocacy and overseas diplomatic activity which promote Australia’s international political, security, economic and multilateral interests. To ensure the accurate and timely provision of policy advice to Ministers to meet the challenges of an evolving international environment.
  • To protect and advance the national interest through a whole-of-government approach to foreign and trade policy, including leading the development and implementation of such policy, negotiating to reduce barriers to Australian trade and investment, providing leadership at overseas missions, and coordinating the overseas diplomatic network.
  • To ensure the security and protect the dignity of the diplomatic and consular corps serving in Australia by delivering a quality service and upholding Australia’s obligations under the Vienna Conventions.
  • To project a positive and contemporary image of Australia, and to promote a clear understanding of the government’s foreign and trade policies, through the delivery of high-quality and innovative public and cultural diplomacy programs.

Program 1.1 Deliverables

  • A heightened role for Australia in promoting non-proliferation and disarmament of weapons of mass destruction and other arms control efforts, including through the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND).
  • Effective coordination of whole-of-government approaches to counter-terrorism programs and activities outside Australia, particularly focusing on South-East Asia, and also in concert with broader multilateral efforts.
  • Effective contribution to whole-of-government approaches in promoting stability and reconstruction in Afghanistan.
  • Reinvigorated engagement with the United Nations (UN), and international support for Australia’s election to the UN Security Council for the 2013–14 term.
  • Effective whole-of-government efforts in bilateral and regional diplomacy to counter people smuggling, in particular by reinvigorating the Bali Process on People Smuggling and Trafficking.
  • Effective advocacy to strengthen good governance and democracy, including advocacy of human rights.
  • Provision of advice relating to compliance with international legal obligations, and an effective contribution to the development of a strong international framework.
  • Effective contributions that advance Australia’s climate change and environment objectives, including in relation to:
    • strategies for the post-2012 climate change negotiations
    • promotion of Australia’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme
    • hosting the 35th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in 2012
    • stemming illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing
    • Japan‘s ‘scientific whaling’ program.
  • Strong leadership in advancing Australia’s multilateral trade and economic interests, including:
    • effective participation in the World Trade Organization (WTO), including progress toward an ambitious outcome in the Doha Round
    • strong leadership of the Cairns Group of agricultural exporting countries
    • effective contribution to resolving economic and trade policy issues through the G20 process.
  • Effective leadership in advancing Australia’s free trade agreement (FTA) agenda, including negotiating and implementing FTAs, and exploring opportunities for new FTAs.
  • Further enhancing Australia’s strong alliance with the United States by building on economic, strategic, defence and intelligence cooperation, and enhancing high-level political engagement, including through mechanisms such as the Australia–United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN).
  • Enhanced engagement with the European Union (EU) on a range of economic and security interests, and strengthened bilateral cooperation, in particular with the United Kingdom, on shared defence and security interests.
  • Continued strong relations with Canada.
  • Strong relations with North Asia, including:
    • Japan through wide-ranging economic and security cooperation
    • China through wide-ranging political and economic engagement
    • the Republic of Korea through cooperation on economic and security issues.
  • Strong relations with South Asia, particularly:
  • India through high-level political and economic engagement
  • Pakistan through counter-terrorism and law enforcement cooperation and development assistance.
  • An advanced role for Australia in the Asia-Pacific, including by:
    • contributing effectively to Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and other regional forums
    • enhancing the role of the East Asia Summit
    • encouraging consensus on an Asia Pacific community
    • building on regional economic and trade reform efforts.
  • Enhanced regional cooperation and strengthened architecture in South-East Asia to meet emerging strategic and economic challenges, including by:
    • working with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on existing partnerships
    • supporting regional responses to terrorism, people smuggling and the global financial crisis
    • expanding our partnerships with Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.
  • Enhanced engagement with Pacific island countries, including effective coordination of whole-of-government approaches to the Government’s Enhanced Pacific Engagement Strategy, as well as through:
    • Pacific Partnerships for Development
    • Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus trade and economic cooperation
    • encouraging an early return to democracy in Fiji
    • continuing the operations of the Australian Consulate-General in Nauru.
  • Promoting political stability, economic growth and security in the region, including through program support and cooperation activities in:
    • East Timor
    • Solomon Islands through effective leadership of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
  • Further deepening our important and wide-ranging relationship with New Zealand.
  • Stronger relations with the countries of Africa and the African Union through trade and investment, multilateral cooperation and high-level contact.
  • Enhanced cooperation with Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Strong support for peace and stability in the Middle East, and advancing our trade and economic interests with the region.
  • Closer engagement with the countries of the Gulf, including the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), including through negotiation of a free trade agreement with the GCC.
  • High-quality public diplomacy, international media and cultural visit programs which promote an image of Australia and Australian government policies that are accurate, positive and contemporary.
  • Effective consultation and liaison with, and provision of advice to, external clients on portfolio and whole-of-government issues, particularly trade issues. External clients include state and territory governments, industry and business representatives, non-government organisations (NGOs) and members of the public.
  • Effective leadership of, and provision of advice and support to, other government agencies at overseas missions, in line with the Prime Minister’s Directive on the Guidelines for the Management of the Australian Government Presence Overseas and service level agreements.
  • Quality service and support by overseas missions to high-level Australian visitors and their delegations, including members of Parliament, state premiers, and senior officials.
  • High-quality service and support to the diplomatic and consular corps serving in Australia, including with respect to the facilitation of accreditation and diplomatic visas, and the security and protection of the dignity of diplomatic missions and their personnel.

Program 1.1 Key performance indicators

  • The department’s delivery of policy advice to Ministers and high-level clients is well-judged, timely, accurate, well-coordinated, and in support of Australia’s national interests.
  • The department’s advocacy, negotiation and liaison with stakeholders on Australia’s political, security and economic interests is effective, collaborative and persuasive in encouraging an understanding of, and alignment towards, Australia’s policy positions, and Australia’s interests in these areas are advanced.
  • The department’s leadership in counter-terrorism and non-proliferation and disarmament efforts is effective, collaborative and persuasive, and contributes positively to regional and international outcomes that help ensure the security and prosperity of Australians.
  • The department’s work multilaterally to address global challenges and advance Australia’s interests is effective, collaborative and persuasive, and contributes towards outcomes that promote peace and prosperity.
  • The department assists in maintaining a high level of Australian compliance with international legal obligations through provision of appropriate advice, and the department’s advocacy contributes positively toward the development of a strong international legal framework.
  • The department’s advancement of bilateral, regional and multilateral trade interests is effective, consultative and persuasive, and contributes positively to advancing Australia’s trade interests, as well as towards improved market access and expanded trade and investment opportunities for Australia.
  • The department’s efforts to maintain and strengthen bilateral and regional relationships are effective and timely, delivering support for Australia’s foreign and trade policy objectives, and increased linkages and opportunities for substantial engagement through both formal and informal channels.
  • The department’s delivery of public diplomacy, cultural and media programs is efficient, resourceful, well-targeted and accurate, and assists in the promotion of a contemporary and positive understanding of Australia and the Government’s foreign and trade policies.
  • Government agencies at overseas missions are satisfied with the level of DFAT service provided in accordance with the Prime Minister’s Directive on the Guidelines for the Management of the Australian Government Presence Overseas and the relevant service level agreement in place.
  • High-level Australian visitors overseas are satisfied with the level of logistic and administrative support provided by overseas missions (including with the timeliness and efficiency of support), with the depth of local knowledge and contacts, and the relevance of on-the-ground policy advice to their visit objectives.
  • The diplomatic and consular corps posted or accredited to Australia is satisfied with the level of service provided, including in terms of responsiveness and timeliness in resolving issues and meeting Australia’s obligations under the Vienna Conventions.

Next page: 1.1.1 North Asia
Previous page: Outcome 1

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade