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 1.2: Payments to international organisations

Program 1.3: Public information services and public diplomacy

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION FOR OUTCOME 1

Outcome 1 strategy

The department will assist the Government to meet its foreign, trade and economic, and security objectives over 2012–13 and forward years through:

  • developing further Australia's relations with key international partners and countries of growing significance to Australia's national interests;
  • working multilaterally to address global challenges relating to peace and security, climate change, sustainable growth and human rights and to advance Australia's interests through the United Nations, G20 and significant regional forums;
  • promoting and strengthening regional and global cooperation and governance in countering terrorism, people smuggling and nuclear proliferation;
  • contributing to national prosperity by maximising Australia's trade opportunities and market access gains through multilateral, regional and bilateral means; and
  • developing and implementing programs and projects to enhance international awareness and understanding of Australia and Australian policies to advance our national interests.

As the lead agency managing Australia's external affairs, the department will also continue to provide leadership at Australia's diplomatic missions overseas, manage and maintain Australia's diplomatic network, including the provision of services to other agencies represented overseas, and deliver services to diplomatic and consular representatives in Australia.

Program 1.1: Foreign affairs and trade operations

Program 1.1 Objectives
  • To protect and advance the national interest through engaging in effective advocacy in Australia and overseas that promotes Australia's foreign, trade and economic, and international security interests.
  • To deliver accurate and timely policy advice to ministers and other high-level clients that addresses the challenges of an evolving international environment.
  • To promote a whole-of-government approach in pursuit of Australia's interests abroad, including through leadership at overseas missions and coordination of 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.
Program 1.1 Deliverables
  • Australia's foreign and trade policy interests and international standing are advanced through:
    • strengthened key international relationships, including a strong alliance with the United States, high-level political and economic engagement with Japan, China, India, Republic of Korea, and the countries of Southeast Asia, a stronger partnership with the European Union and its members, and continued close ties with New Zealand and Canada;
    • sustained engagement with Pacific Island countries, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, to meet shared challenges and to promote global and regional stability, security and prosperity;
    • strong participation in the United Nations and other multilateral forums, including international support for Australia's election to the UN Security Council for the 2013–14 term, promotion of effective international climate change action and sustainable development, and advocacy of human rights;
    • effective contribution to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member for the two-calendar year 2013–14 term;
    • contribution to enhanced regional architecture through the East Asia Summit, the Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and dialogue with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations; and
    • promotion of high-quality public diplomacy, international media and cultural visit programs which improve understanding of Australia and Australian government foreign and trade policies.
  • Australia's trade and economic opportunities are maximised, including through:
    • effective participation in the World Trade Organization (WTO), including through the Doha Round, leadership of the Cairns Group of agricultural exporting countries and G20 processes; and
    • effective leadership in advancing our interests through sectoral initiatives as well as Australia's free trade agreement (FTA) agenda, including negotiating and implementing FTAs, and exploring opportunities where appropriate for new FTAs.
  • An enhanced environment for security and development, including through:
    • effective whole-of-government efforts to promote stability and development in Afghanistan;
    • promotion of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, and counter-proliferation and arms control efforts, including in arms trade treaty negotiations and as chair of the Australia Group;
    • participation in counter-terrorism programs and activities, including in South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, eastern Africa, and in the Global Terrorism Forum; and
    • contribution to whole-of-government efforts bilaterally and regionally to counter people smuggling, in particular through the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime.
  • Australia's international and portfolio responsibilities are met through:
    • effective coordination and sound advice to ministers, members of parliament, government agencies, state and territory governments, business, non-governmental organisations, media and members of the public;
    • sound advice on compliance with international legal obligations and contribution to the development of a strong international legal framework;
    • effective leadership of, and provision of advice and support to, other government agencies at overseas missions in line with the Prime Minister's Directive: Guidelines for Management of the Australian Government Presence Overseas and service level agreements;
    • quality service and support to the diplomatic and consular corps serving in Australia, including facilitation of accreditation and diplomatic visas, and the security and protection of dignity of diplomatic missions and their personnel, upholding Australia's obligations under the Vienna Conventions; and
    • administration of the EFIC National Interest Account.
Program 1.1 Key performance indicators
  • High level of satisfaction of ministers and high-level clients with the quality and timeliness of advice, briefing and support in relation to Australia's foreign, trade and economic, and international security interests.
  • The department's advocacy, negotiation and liaison on Australia's foreign, trade and economic, and international security interests contributes positively to bilateral, regional and multilateral outcomes that help ensure the security and prosperity of Australia and Australians.
  • Government agencies at overseas missions are satisfied with service provided in accordance with the Prime Minister's Directive: Guidelines for Management of the Australian Government Presence Overseas and service level agreements in place.
  • The diplomatic and consular corps posted or accredited to Australia are satisfied with the level of service provided, including in terms of responsiveness and timeliness in meeting Australia's obligations under the Vienna Conventions.

PROGRAM MANAGEMENT (ADVOCACY AND PROTECTION OF AUSTRALIAN INTERESTS)

1.1.1 North Asia

Overview

The department led whole-of-government efforts to engage with new governments in Japan, China and the Republic of Korea—three of Australia's top four trading partners. Through dialogue with these countries and other partners, including the United States, we worked to promote security and stability in North Asia—a region vital to Australia's long-term security and prosperity, central to the interests of the major powers, and home to two of the world's longest-running flashpoints (the Taiwan straits and the Korean peninsula).

The department supported several high-level visits that advanced relations with our key partners and projected Australia's interests in the region. We laid the groundwork for the enhanced bilateral arrangements agreed during the Prime Minister's visit to China in April. We secured agreement to the joint vision for Australia's security and defence relationship with Japan at the fourth annual '2+2' dialogue between foreign and defence ministers. We also began preparations for a '2+2' meeting with the Republic of Korea in July 2013, the first such meeting it has held with any country apart from the United States.

The department's advocacy in the region focused on promoting peaceful and rules-based approaches to competing interests, while expanding trade and investment ties, including through negotiations on free trade agreements (FTAs) with Japan, China and the Republic of Korea. Bilaterally, and via regional and global forums, we worked with North Asian partners to strengthen global financial governance, regional architecture and nuclear non-proliferation.

We coordinated the development of country strategies for Japan, China and the Republic of Korea, three of the five countries featured in the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper. The strategies were prepared in conjunction with other government agencies and in consultation with business, governments and the community in each state and territory. (See also 1.1.2, and 1.1.5)

Table 1: Australia's trade in goods and services with North Asian economies (a)

Exports
Exports
Imports
Imports
Goods and services
2011
2012
Trend growth
2007–2012
2011
2012
Trend growth
2007–2012
$m
$m
%
$m
$m
%
China
77,103
78,715
24.6
43,929
46,335
8.2
Japan
52,366
49,756
5.6
20,118
21,298
0.2
Republic of Korea
24,989
21,562
7.7
7,644
10,313
8.1
Taiwan
9,679
8,631
5.8
3,976
4,006
-3.1
Hong Kong, China
4,757
4,337
0.1
3,131
3,206
-0.5
Other (b) (c)
91
72
-0.7
16
17
-4.7
Total North Asia
168,985
163,073
12.7
78,814
85,175
4.8

(a) Goods data on a recorded trade basis, services data on a balance of payments basis.

(b) Goods data only. Services data is not published by the ABS for these countries.

(c) Other comprises Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Macau and Mongolia.

Based on DFAT STARS database and ABS catalogue 5368.0.55.004.

 

Figure 4: Foreign investment from Asia to Australia

Japan, in 2001 A$50b, in 2002 A$49b, in 2003 A$46b, in 2004 A$49b, in 2005 A$51b, in 2006 A$52b, in 2007 A$63b, in 2008 A$89b, in 2009 A$103b, in 2010 A$119b, in 2011 A$125b, in 2012 A$126b. ASEAN, in 2001 A$47b, in 2002 A$35b, in 2003 A$33b, in 2004 A$33b, in 2005 A$37b, in 2006 A$47b, in 2007 A$56b, in 2008 A$59b, in 2009 A$53b, in 2010 A$60b, in 2011 A$79b, in 2012 A$80b. Hong Kong (SAR of China), in 2001 A$32b, in 2002 A$36b, in 2003 A$28b, in 2004 A$29b, in 2005 A$32b, in 2006 A$39b, in 2007 A$46b, in 2008 A$56b, in 2009 A$42b, in 2010 A$40b, in 2011 A$40b, in 2012 A$42b. China, in 2001 A$3b, in 2002 A$3b, in 2003 A$3b, in 2004 A$2b, in 2005 A$2b, in 2006 A$4b, in 2007 A$6b, in 2008 A$8b, in 2009 A$16b, in 2010 A$19b, in 2011 A$20b, in 2012 A$23b.  Republic of Korea, in 2001 A$0b, in 2002 A$1b, in 2003 A$1b, in 2004 A$1b, in 2005 A$1b, in 2006 A$5b, in 2007 A$8b, in 2008 A$7b, in 2009 A$9b, in 2010 A$9b, in 2011 A$13b, in 2012 A$12b. India, in 2001 A$0b, in 2002 A$0b, in 2003 A$0b, in 2004 A$0b, in 2005 A$0b, in 2006 A$1b, in 2007 np, in 2008 np, in 2009 np, in 2010 np, in 2011 A$11b, in 2012 A$10b.  Taiwan, in 2001 A$1b, in 2002 A$1b, in 2003 A$1b, in 2004 A$2b, in 2005 A$2b, in 2006 A$3b, in 2007 A$4b, in 2008 A$4b, in 2009 A$4b, in 2010 A$5b, in 2011 A$5b, in 2012 A$5b.

Note: India data is not published from 2007 to 2010 inclusive.

Based on ABS catalogue 5352.0 – International Investment Position, Australia: Supplementary Statistics, 2012.

 

Japan

Japan is our closest partner in Asia. The decisive election victory by the Liberal Democratic Party in December offered fresh opportunities to deepen our comprehensive relationship and to take advantage of reforms occurring in both countries.

The department supported ministers in strengthening Australia's engagement across a range of portfolios critical to the bilateral relationship. We arranged Senator Carr's meeting with Japan's then Minister for Foreign Affairs Gemba in July 2012, in the margins of the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan. We subsequently facilitated a visit by Foreign Minister Kishida to Sydney in January 2013 for early discussions on cooperation with the new Abe government. We also supported visits by: the Minister for Defence; the Minister for Resources and Energy and Minister for Tourism; the Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs and Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs; and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister.

Working closely with the Department of Defence, we steered negotiation of the vision statement for the Australia–Japan security and defence partnership agreed by foreign and defence ministers in September 2012 at their fourth '2+2' consultations in Sydney. Consistent with this vision, the department oversaw the ratification of the Australia–Japan Agreement on the Security of Information. We shepherded the entry into force of the bilateral Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement, which enables mutual logistical support between our forces in peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Under the department's special visits program, Upper House member Dr Kenzo Fujisue visited Australia in September 2012 for meetings on security and economic issues. We supported the eighth Australia–Japan Conference in Tokyo in March 2013, sponsored by the Australia–Japan Foundation, which brought together high-level political, business and academic representatives and yielded a range of recommendations for strengthening the bilateral relationship.

We continued to advance economic relations with Japan, our second-largest trading partner in 2012 and our largest source of foreign investment from Asia (see Figure 5). The third Australia–Japan Public Private Infrastructure Policy Dialogue, in Canberra in October 2012, discussed models of infrastructure financing and potential government–business coordination on projects in Asia. We narrowed negotiations on an FTA down to all but a small number of remaining sensitive market-access issues, and welcomed Japan's participation in the negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreements. (See also 1.1.7)

We worked closely with Japan to achieve shared objectives in regional and multilateral forums including the East Asia Summit (EAS), APEC, the World Trade Organization, the G20 and the United Nations. We continued to enhance our broader relationship notwithstanding our differences on whaling.

Minister Counsellor in Tokyo, Dara Williams (left), with local Mayor, Jin Sato (centre), at a ceremony to mark a milestone in the building of the ANZ-funded 'Koala House' in Minami Sanriku, part of the recovery effort following the devastation of the town by the earthquake-tsunami in 2011, 17 October 2012. [Australian Embassy Tokyo]

Minister Counsellor in Tokyo, Dara Williams (left), with local Mayor, Jin Sato (centre), at a ceremony to mark a milestone in the building of the ANZ-funded 'Koala House' in Minami Sanriku, part of the recovery effort following the devastation of the town by the earthquake-tsunami in 2011, 17 October 2012. [Australian Embassy Tokyo]

 

Figure 5: Australia's trade in goods and services with Japan (a)

Exports, in 2007 A$34,612m,  in 2008 A$53,106m,  in 2009 A$40,263m,  in 2010 A$45,655m,  in 2011 A$52,366m,  in 2012 A$49,756m. Imports,  in 2007 A$19,870m,  in 2008 A$22,722m,  in 2009 A$18,805m,  in 2010 A$20,394m,  in 2011 A$20,118m,  in 2012 A$21,298m. Balance,  in 2007 A$14,742m,  in 2008 A$30,384m,  in 2009 A$21,458m,  in 2010 A$25,261m,  in 2011 A$32,248m,  in 2012 A$28,458m.

(a) Goods data on a recorded trade basis, services data on a balance of payments basis.

Based on DFAT STARS database and ABS catalogue 5368.0.55.004.

 

China

The department continued to pursue a comprehensive, constructive and cooperative relationship with China, including through engagement with the new Chinese leadership installed in March.

We worked closely with China in regional and multilateral forums to take forward our interest in a stable and prosperous Asian region, including through the EAS, the G20, the ASEAN Regional Forum, APEC and the United Nations.

We managed another busy year of high-level visits. The Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Trade were among the first senior foreign government representatives to meet the new leadership in China in April. Australia and China committed to establish enhanced bilateral consultative arrangements, including an annual leaders-level meeting and ministerial-level economic, and foreign and strategic, dialogues. Leaders agreed on the value of regular, senior-level consultations to provide strategic direction for the relationship and help avoid misunderstandings.

We continued our exchanges with China on sensitive human rights, consular and commercial disputes issues. We hosted the 14th round of the Australia–China Human Rights Dialogue in July, including facilitating an NGO meeting with the Chinese delegation.

China remained Australia's largest two-way trading partner, with total trade growing by 3.3 per cent to $125.1 billion in 2012. It is our ninth-largest source of foreign direct investment (and 11th largest source of foreign investment). We continued to pursue a more diverse trade and investment relationship, targeting opportunities presented by China's emerging middle class and growing urbanisation, and to address impediments to commerce. We continued difficult negotiations on an FTA. (See also 1.1.7)

The department led the Feeding the Future study, jointly released in December by trade and agriculture ministers from both countries, which sets a course for closer investment and technological cooperation in agriculture to enhance food security. We also coordinated a whole-of-government initiative, Doing Business in China, under the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper, to inform Australian businesses about the opportunities and risks of doing business with China. We took forward deeper economic partnerships with Chinese provinces, promoting the establishment of the Australia-Guangdong Business Cooperation Council to bring together Australian and Chinese businesses in southern China. We continued preparations for the opening of the new consulate-general in Chengdu.

We coordinated a program of events to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and China on 21 December 2012. The highlight was a gala dinner hosted by the Prime Minister, with State Councillor Ms Liu Yandong, now a Vice-Premier, attending as guest of honour. Under the department's special visits program, we facilitated the visit to Australia of Dr Fang Xinghai, Director-General of the Shanghai Financial Services Office, to identify opportunities for closer financial integration between Australia and China, including internationalisation of the renminbi (RMB).

Minister for Trade, Dr Emerson (right), and Prime Minister Julia Gillard (3rd right), prior to the press conference to announce direct trading between AUD and RMB, Shanghai, 8 April 2013. With them (left to right), Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten, Mike Smith (ANZ) and Gail Kelly (Westpac). [AUSPIC/David Foote]

Minister for Trade, Dr Emerson (right), and Prime Minister Julia Gillard (3rd right), prior to the press conference to announce direct trading between AUD and RMB, Shanghai, 8 April 2013. With them (left to right), Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten, Mike Smith (ANZ) and Gail Kelly (Westpac). [AUSPIC/David Foote]

 

Figure 6: Australia's trade in goods and services with China (a)

Exports, in 2007 A$27,767m, in 2008 A$37,028m, in 2009 A$47,754m, in 2010 A$64,104m, in 2011 A$77,103m, in 2012 A$78,715m. Imports, in 2007 A$30,314m, in 2008 A$36,826m, in 2009 A$37,239m, in 2010 A$40,910m, in 2011 A$43,929m, in 2012 A$46,335m. Balance, in 2007 A$-2,547m, in 2008 A$202m, in 2009 A$10,515m, in 2010 A$23,194m, in 2011 A$33,174m, in 2012 A$32,380m.

(a) Goods data on a recorded trade basis, services data on a balance of payments basis.

Based on DFAT STARS database and ABS catalogue 5368.0.55.004.

Staff Profile

Marco Salvio

I coordinated the department's follow-up action to implement the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper. As part of this process, I participated in Australia-wide consultations to develop country strategies for China, India, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea. Each strategy outlines a vision of where Australia's relationship with these countries should be in 2025, and how we, the Australian community, intend to get there. More than 1 300 people overall attended 'town hall'-style public forums in every state and territory capital, and the department received more than 250 formal submissions.

Marco Salvio

I remember hearing a teacher from the outskirts of Hobart talk about the challenges of enthusing students to learn an Asian language. She said she was often asked why students should bother to learn a foreign language when they can speak English. I believe that knowing a foreign language gives you a better understanding of how people from that country think and act—a skill essential in diplomacy. I grew up speaking Italian and English and when I joined the department in 1999, I was given Japanese language training ahead of my posting to Tokyo. My job was to manage Australia's relations with the Japanese parliament and language skills were essential.

I have found knowledge of Asia helps anywhere in the world. As First Secretary in Washington, I had responsibility for supporting Australia's dialogue with the United States on Asian issues. I worked for a period within the Department of State's Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs. Working with US colleagues on the development of the US 'rebalance' towards Asia, the US-China relationship and the region's response to North Korean provocations was a fascinating experience.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is Australia's leading business base in Asia and our sixth-largest source of foreign investment. Capitalising on its role as the largest offshore RMB trading centre, we secured Hong Kong's agreement to set up a new high-level RMB trade and investment dialogue between senior government, banking and business leaders. We facilitated visits to Hong Kong by the Deputy Prime Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary for Trade, as well as numerous state premiers and ministers.

Taiwan

We helped strengthen economic ties with Taiwan through the annual Bilateral Economic Consultations, which focused on promoting two-way investment and clean-energy cooperation. Taiwan remained Australia's sixth-largest merchandise export market in 2012, worth $8 billion. Our advocacy contributed to the finalisation of Taiwan's strategic investment in the Prelude floating LNG project in the Browse Basin and the emergence of ANZ Bank as the biggest foreign investor in Taiwan in 2012. The department assisted unofficial visits to Taiwan by Trade Minister Emerson in September and Parliamentary Secretary for Trade Thomson in April. The visits, together with the annual joint meeting of bilateral business councils, gave added impetus to business engagement. Negotiations to amend the bilateral double taxation agreement remain stalled.

Figure 7: Australia's trade in goods and services with Taiwan (a)

Exports, in 2007 A$6,478m, in 2008 A$8,747m, in 2009 A$7,070m, in 2010 A$8,920m, in 2011 A$9,679m, in 2012 A$8,631m. Imports, in 2007 A$4,557m, in 2008 A$4,764m, in 2009 A$3,603m, in 2010 A$3,883m, in 2011 A$3,976m, in 2012 A$4,006m. Balance, in 2007 A$1,921m, in 2008 A$3,983m, in 2009 A$3,467m, in 2010 A$5,037m, in 2011 A$5,703m, in 2012 A$4,625m.

(a) Goods data on a recorded trade basis, services data on a balance of payments basis.

Based on DFAT STARS database and ABS catalogue 5368.0.55.004.

 

Republic of Korea (ROK)

The department took forward Australia's strong relationship with the Republic of Korea following the election of a new National Assembly and President, including through support for high-level visits. The Governor-General's attendance at President Park's inauguration in February was a highlight. Mr Kim Sung-hwan visited Canberra in August for meetings with the Prime Minister and the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and for Trade, the first stand-alone visit by a ROK foreign minister since 2009 and only the second in 28 years.

We began preparations for the first Australia–Republic of Korea '2+2' Defence and Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Seoul in July 2013. We strengthened our close cooperation on economic and security issues in APEC, the EAS, the G20 and the UN Security Council (UNSC)—where we are both non-permanent members. We continued extensive dialogue on climate change issues, including on the development of emissions trading schemes.

The Republic of Korea remained our fourth-largest trading partner, reflecting complementary economic strengths. Australia continued to be the ROK's largest supplier of iron ore and coal. Total investment between the two countries has grown to over $22 billion as at 2012. ROK investment is beginning to diversify beyond its traditional focus on resources. Negotiations on an FTA advanced but remained challenging owing to differences on a small range of sensitive issues. (See also 1.1.7)

We continued to promote deeper community links, including through participation in Expo 2012 in Yeosu. The Australian Pavilion was the first foreign pavilion to attract over a million visitors.

Figure 8: Australia's trade in goods and services with Republic of Korea (a)

Exports, in 2007 A$15,337m, in 2008 A$20,214m, in 2009 A$17,407m, in 2010 A$22,337m, in 2011 A$24,989m, in 2012 A$21,562m. Imports, in 2007 A$6,430m, in 2008 A$7,017m, in 2009 A$6,944m, in 2010 A$7,704m, in 2011 A$7,644m, in 2012 A$10,313m. Balance, in 2007 A$8,907m, in 2008 A$13,197m, in 2009 A$10,463m, in 2010 A$14,633m, in 2011 A$17,345m, in 2012 A$11,249m.

(a) Goods data on a recorded trade basis, services data on a balance of payments basis.

Based on DFAT STARS database and ABS catalogue 5368.0.55.004.

 

ommissioner General for Australia, Kevin Nixon (3rd right, back), hosts a thank you reception for the Korean Organising Committee members and other international participants, Australian Pavilion, Expo 2012, Yeosu, July 2012. [DFAT]

ommissioner General for Australia, Kevin Nixon (3rd right, back), hosts a thank you reception for the Korean Organising Committee members and other international participants, Australian Pavilion, Expo 2012, Yeosu, July 2012. [DFAT]

 

 

Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea)

Following North Korea's missile test in December and its nuclear test in February, we worked closely with our regional partners and through the United Nations to urge North Korea to cease its provocations and threats, abandon its nuclear-weapons programs and comply with its international commitments. The Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister remained in regular contact with other regional leaders and Australia called for the strongest possible response from the UNSC. North Korea remained defiant. The department coordinated the government's implementation of UN sanctions and commenced a review of Australia's autonomous sanctions. We also strongly supported the establishment, by the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, of a commission of inquiry to investigate human rights violations in the country.

Mongolia

The department was at the forefront of Australia's increasing engagement with Mongolia. Senator Carr's October visit, the first by an Australian foreign minister for over five years, highlighted the growing importance of our commercial, investment and development relationship, with Australian merchandise exports to Mongolia tripling to $35 million over the last three years. We continued to advocate a stable and predictable investment climate.

We held a successful series of events to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations in September and facilitated a visit by the House of Representatives Rural Affairs Committee.

Outlook

New country strategies for Japan, China and the Republic of Korea, under the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper, will provide an important framework to take forward these key bilateral relationships. We will finalise establishment of a consulate-general in Chengdu in western China (from current temporary premises) in the second half of 2013. When circumstances allow, we will upgrade our consulate-general in Ulaanbaatar (Ulan Bator) to an embassy, and establish a consulate-general in Shenyang in north-eastern China.

We will continue to promote Australia's economic interests in North Asia by pursuing negotiations on bilateral FTAs and regional trade agreements such as the TPP and RCEP.

The department will play a leading role in Australia's growing collaboration with China, building on the new enhanced bilateral architecture now in place. Australia's chairing of the G20 and China's chairing of APEC in 2014 provide opportunities for stronger economic cooperation. We will take forward our support for cultural engagement with Australia Week in China, a new campaign to promote Australian tourism, trade and investment, to be held in Shanghai in 2014.

We will further develop strategic cooperation with Japan under the joint vision for the security and defence relationship, including through a fifth foreign and defence ministers '2+2' meeting and an Australia–Japan–United States ministerial Trilateral Strategic Dialogue.

Building on growing business interest and ongoing FTA negotiations with the Republic of Korea, we will promote a diversified investment partnership. We will aim to develop an agreed vision for our future defence and security partnership.

We will continue to support efforts by like-minded countries including in the United Nations to induce North Korea to embrace dialogue and meet its international obligations. Advocacy on the business and investment environment in Mongolia will be a priority.

1.1.2 Southeast Asia

Overview

Southeast Asia is fundamental to Australia's strategic, political and economic interests. In 2012, the Government announced it would appoint a resident Ambassador to ASEAN, highlighting Australia's ongoing commitment to deepening engagement with the organisation and its constituent countries.

We supported the conclusion of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) and the withdrawal of the Australian-led International Stabilisation Force. We assisted with the inaugural meeting of Australian, Timorese and Indonesian leaders in November 2012.

The commencement of negotiations on the Indonesia–Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) was an important step in strengthening our trade and economic relationship. The Malaysia–Australia Free Trade Agreement entered into force on 1 January 2013. We managed the Singapore–Australia Joint Ministerial Committee meeting which agreed to establish a regular strategic dialogue of senior officials.

The department supported a ceremony in Bali to mark the 10th anniversary of the first bombings. We broadened engagement with Myanmar, and in 2013, marked the 40th anniversary of bilateral relations with Vietnam.

In the East Asia Summit (EAS), we promoted strategic discussions and practical cooperation to build confidence through programs in health, education, energy and the environment, disaster management and finance. In November 2012, the department co-chaired with the Philippines the ASEAN-Australia Forum. We also supported the Malaria 2012 regional conference in Sydney which recommended the establishment of an Asia–Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance to help combat the disease in the region.

The department strengthened relationships with Southeast Asian leaders by supporting a large number of visits to and from the region. The Prime Minister, Senator Carr and Dr Emerson all visited Cambodia for ASEAN and EAS-related meetings. The Prime Minister also visited Indonesia, and attended the 9th Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Laos. Senator Carr visited Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Timor-Leste and Laos.

Table 2: Australia's trade in goods and services with Southeast Asia (a)

Exports
Exports
Imports
Imports
Goods and services
2011
2012
Trend
growth
2007–2012
2011
2012
Trend
growth
2007–2012
$m
$m
%
$m
$m
%
Singapore
9,520
10,259
4.6
18,157
18,826
2.2
Thailand
7,731
5,772
4.0
10,698
12,657
2.8
Indonesia
6,656
6,116
5.7
8,115
8,516
9.1
Malaysia
6,132
6,744
7.2
9,877
10,913
4.3
Vietnam
2,961
2,711
9.0
3,592
3,924
-7.5
Philippines
1,979
2,308
8.6
970
1,130
-1.2
Other ASEAN (b)
319
342
2.9
1,581
1,434
2.2
Total ASEAN
35,298
34,252
5.8
52,990
57,400
2.6
Timor-Leste (c)
30
26
-5.2
1
2
-22.2
Total Southeast Asia
35,328
34,278
5.8
52,991
57,402
2.6

(a) Goods data on a recorded trade basis, services data on a balance of payments basis.

(b) Other ASEAN comprises Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.

(c) Goods data only. Services data is not published by the ABS for these countries.

Based on DFAT STARS database and ABS catalogue 5368.0.55.004.

 

Indonesia

The department supported two visits by the Prime Minister to Indonesia—the first, to honour the victims of the 2002 terrorist attacks in Bali, and the second, to co-chair the fifth Bali Democracy Forum. In July 2012, Indonesian President Yudhoyono attended the Annual Leaders' Meeting in Darwin, the first time the meeting has been held in Australia.

Senator Carr visited Indonesia in July 2012 to promote two-way trade and investment links, cooperation on maritime search and rescue and counter-terrorism. The second '2+2' Defence and Foreign Ministers' Meeting was held in Jakarta in April 2013. We also supported Senator Carr's co-chairing, with his Indonesian counterpart, of the Bali Process Regional Ministerial Conference in April 2013. (See also 1.1.9)

The commencement of negotiations on the IA-CEPA boosted efforts to strengthen the trade and economic relationship (see 1.1.7). We managed the visit of the Indonesian Trade Minister in October 2012 for the annual Trade Ministers' Meeting, where ministers also discussed priorities for the IA-CEPA negotiations with business representatives from both countries. The department continued to advocate increased market access, including quota increases, for Australian horticulture, live cattle and beef exports. In May 2013 Indonesia agreed to quota-free access for prime cuts of beef.

The department partnered with the Australian Institute of International Affairs to host the second Indonesia–Australia Dialogue in Sydney in March 2013, exploring new ways to deepen and expand community, media and business ties. The department facilitated public consultations with government, business, academia, industry groups, cultural, community and youth organisations on the development of the Indonesia Country Strategy mandated in the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper. We received over 100 written submissions related to Indonesia. This public outreach provided a welcome avenue for dialogue with and between stakeholders, as well as a forum for ideas on the bilateral relationship.

We collaborated with other Australian agencies and Indonesian counterparts on a wide range of issues relevant to Australia's security, including counter-terrorism and people smuggling, disaster relief and human rights. We supported strengthened defence engagement, including through the inaugural annual Defence Ministers' Meeting and the signing of the Defence Cooperation Arrangement in September 2013.

Foreign Minister Carr (2nd left) with Indonesia's Foreign Minister, Dr Marty Natalegawa (left), Indonesia's Defence Minister, Purnomo Yusgiantoro, and Defence Minister Stephen Smith (right), at the Australia–Indonesia '2+2' Meeting, April 2013. [DFAT]

Foreign Minister Carr (2nd left) with Indonesia's Foreign Minister, Dr Marty Natalegawa (left), Indonesia's Defence Minister, Purnomo Yusgiantoro, and Defence Minister Stephen Smith (right), at the Australia–Indonesia '2+2' Meeting, April 2013. [DFAT]

 

Thailand

We continued celebrations for the 60th anniversary of Australia's diplomatic relations with Thailand in 2012, including through the visit to Australia in August of Princess Bajarakitiyabha, the granddaughter of the King. Throughout the year, the department also facilitated separate visits by Senator Carr and a number of other ministers, parliamentarians and high-level officials.

The department worked with Thai officials to improve certain implementation procedures under the Thailand–Australia Free Trade Agreement, including processes for certificates of origin to facilitate the trade in goods.

To stimulate business and investment links, Australia's Ambassador to Thailand undertook a trade roadshow in Australia in March 2013. Around 300 people attended events, representing 180 mostly small to medium size companies.

Profile

Australia in the Asian Century
White Paper Taskforce

Production of the government's White Paper—Australia in the Asian Century—released by the Prime Minister in October 2012, involved close collaboration between different levels of government, business and the broader Australian community. The White Paper reviewed the economic, strategic, social and cultural changes in Asia and the opportunities these present for Australia. It provides a roadmap for Australia's engagement in the region through to 2025.

The Australia in the Asia Century<em> White Paper Taskforce. Left to right: (standing) Andrew Wallace (PM&C), Amelia Johnstone (AusAID), Tim Wong (PM&C), Kerrie Burmeister (PM&C), Dana Robertson (DFAT), Eugenie Hwang (DFAT); (seated) John Quinn (DFAT), Kerry Doyle (PM&C), Victoria Walker (DFAT), Gordon de Brouwer (PM&C), Canberra, June 2013. [DFAT]

The Australia in the Asia Century White Paper Taskforce. Left to right: (standing) Andrew Wallace (PM&C), Amelia Johnstone (AusAID), Tim Wong (PM&C), Kerrie Burmeister (PM&C), Dana Robertson (DFAT), Eugenie Hwang (DFAT); (seated) John Quinn (DFAT), Kerry Doyle (PM&C), Victoria Walker (DFAT), Gordon de Brouwer (PM&C), Canberra, June 2013. [DFAT]

Drawing on their deep and broad knowledge of Asia and the profound changes being driven by the region's rise, the department's staff were closely involved in all elements of the development, drafting and advocacy of the White Paper and were active participants in the taskforce led by Dr Ken Henry. Heather Smith was the department's representative on the high-level advisory panel.

In the drafting phase, the taskforce received over 200 submissions from organisations and individuals keen to contribute to this important initiative. A secretariat within the department coordinated and shaped our contributions. Posts also supported four visits by Dr Henry and his team to the region and played an active role in promoting the outcomes of the White Paper.

For the department, the next phase of the process has been to lead the development of whole-of-Australia country strategies to guide our engagement with China, India, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea.

Ambassador to Thailand, James Wise (3rd left), with embassy staff and families, celebrated the 60th anniversary of Australia's diplomatic relations with Thailand and Laos by taking part in the Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge Fun Run, November 2012. [Nopparat Wongpanichayakul]

Ambassador to Thailand, James Wise (3rd left), with embassy staff and families, celebrated the 60th anniversary of Australia's diplomatic relations with Thailand and Laos by taking part in the Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge Fun Run, November 2012. [Nopparat Wongpanichayakul]

 

Malaysia

During Senator Carr's visit to Malaysia in November 2012, the two countries agreed to establish an Australia–Malaysia Cultural Exchange program. The Australia–Malaysia Institute implemented the exchange with visits in May and June 2013 (see 1.1.13).

The Malaysia–Australia Free Trade Agreement entered into force on 1 January 2013. We also worked with Malaysia as negotiating parties to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) (see 1.1.7).

Working with other Australian agencies and Malaysian counterparts, we addressed a number of shared issues, including people smuggling and counter-terrorism. We assisted the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education's finalisation of a new bilateral memorandum of understanding (MOU) on higher education in November 2012.

Singapore

The department delivered increased high-level engagement with Singapore, including through the Singapore–Australia Joint Ministerial Committee Meeting in September 2012, involving our respective foreign affairs, defence and trade ministers. Ministers agreed to establish a regular strategic dialogue of senior foreign affairs and defence officials and discussed cooperation on the TPP and the launch of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations. In June 2013 Secretary Peter Varghese visited Singapore for senior officials' talks. As well, we managed the visit of nine Australian government secretaries and senior officials attending the third bilateral Public Sector Roundtable, designed to enable public sector leaders to share experiences in delivering public services.

In October 2012, Singapore Prime Minister Lee visited Australia and renewed an MOU on combating transnational crime and strengthening police cooperation.

Under the department's special visits program, Brigadier-General Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister of State (National Development and Manpower) visited in August 2012 for meetings on Australia's infrastructure and construction sector. Former foreign minister, Mr George Yeo, visited in May 2013 to receive an honorary award in the Order of Australia presented by Senator Carr.

Myanmar

The department continued to play a central role in the government's rapidly expanding engagement with Myanmar, supporting several bilateral exchanges. The President of Myanmar, U Thein Sein, undertook the first visit to Australia by a Head of State of Myanmar since 1974. He was preceded by the Foreign Minister, U Wunna Maung Lwin, in October 2012, and the speakers of the Lower and Upper Houses of Parliament.

High-profile Australian visitors to Myanmar included the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Financial Services and Superannuation with a 12-member Australian business delegation (October 2012). Visits by the President of the Senate (April 2013) and an Australian parliamentary delegation (September 2012), paved the way for greater bilateral engagement between our two parliaments.

We worked with international partners on policy approaches to Myanmar and also towards expanding our engagement across the spectrum, including on defence, trade and investment. The department raised human rights concerns directly with the Myanmar Government and in international forums, including the UN Human Rights Council.

The Philippines

The department was at the forefront of efforts to expand engagement with the Philippines. President Aquino's visit to Australia in October 2012 saw the signing of a new Air Services Agreement to promote increased trade and people-to-people links. Australia also agreed to contribute to building peace and stability in Mindanao by assisting with improved access to education.

Our sustained advocacy resulted in the entry into force of the Status of Visiting Forces Agreement by the Philippine Government in September 2012, a significant milestone in our defence relationship. The department hosted the first Australia–Philippine Strategic Dialogue in Canberra in October 2012.

We worked to ensure that Australian investment interests, such as approvals and regulatory requirements for the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project, were considered in a fair and transparent manner, consistent with Philippine law.

Vietnam

In collaboration with the Australia International Cultural Council, the department promoted a number of events in Vietnam to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, including visits by Bangarra Dance Theatre and Questacon.

We supported visits by Defence Minister Stephen Smith in August 2012 and Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig in November 2012—the first visit ever by an Australian Minister for Agriculture—to strengthen ties and build trade opportunities for the agricultural sector. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Anna Burke, visited in May 2013, following an Australian parliamentary delegation visit in April 2013. The department also assisted with bilateral visits to Australia by the Vietnamese Ministers of National Defence, Finance, and Science and Technology.

To advance Australia's trade interests, particularly in the resources and energy sector, we coordinated the visit by Vietnam's Minister of Industry and Trade, Dr Vu Huy Hoang, together with an accompanying business delegation.

We hosted the tenth Australia–Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue and contributed to negotiation of the Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation signed by the two countries in June 2013.

The department facilitated a nine-month loan of the Long Tan Cross from the Dong Nai Museum in Biên Hòa to the Australian War Memorial. The Cross was originally erected in 1969 at the site of the Battle of Long Tan.

Timor-Leste

The department assisted Australian parliamentary and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) missions observing Timor-Leste's parliamentary elections on 7 July 2012. We steered the conclusion of UNMIT and the withdrawal of the Australian-led International Stabilisation Force, in consultation with the Timorese Government.

We supported the inaugural trilateral leaders' meeting of the Australian and Timorese Prime Ministers and the Indonesian President, in Bali in November 2012. Leaders committed to strengthening economic and business activity across the three countries.

First Secretary in Dili, Alexandra Owens, greeting a trainee at the 2012–13 Direct Aid Program-funded Ahisaun Disability Foundation, Dili, 19 April 2013. [Australian Embassy Dili]

First Secretary in Dili, Alexandra Owens, greeting a trainee at the 2012–13 Direct Aid Program-funded Ahisaun Disability Foundation, Dili, 19 April 2013. [Australian Embassy Dili]

 

During Senator Carr's visit to Timor-Leste in December 2012, he reinforced Australia's commitment to the country's development, thanked Australian police and military personnel for their contributions to UNMIT and presented Australia's 10th anniversary of independence gift documenting Timor-Leste's cultural heritage and history.

We supported the visit to Australia by Timor-Leste's Minister of State and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Dr José Luís Guterres, in April 2013.

Timor-Leste initiated arbitration under the 2002 Timor Sea Treaty for a dispute related to the 2006 Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea on 23 April 2013. The government responded on 19 June 2013.

The department made written and oral submissions to the Australian Parliament Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade inquiry into Australia's relationship with Timor-Leste in 2013. (See Appendix 5)

Cambodia

The department provided support for visits to Cambodia by the Prime Minister, Senator Carr and Dr Emerson, to attend EAS and ASEAN-related meetings chaired by Cambodia. The Prime Minister and her Cambodian counterpart, Samdech Hun Sen, also held formal talks at the ASEM Summit in Laos.

The department, through its missions in Phnom Penh and New York, monitored the work of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) and chaired the ECCC Principal Donors Group at the United Nations from April to June 2013. Senator Carr announced two further contributions to the ECCC—$1.4 million, while in Phnom Penh in July 2012, and $3.25 million in June 2013.

Brunei Darussalam

There was a marked increase in high-level exchanges with Brunei, including through its chairing of ASEAN and the EAS. The department supported a visit to Australia by the Brunei Second Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and Minister for Energy in July 2012, followed by a visit to Brunei by then Parliamentary Secretary Marles in August 2012 to discuss Brunei's priorities for its year as EAS chair.

The department organised a visit to Brunei by the Governor-General in October 2012, the first Australian vice-regal visit since Brunei's independence in 1984. This was followed by a visit to Australia by the Sultan of Brunei in May 2013.

Laos

The department supported several high-level visits and increased parliamentary engagement with Laos as part of our commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Australia–Laos diplomatic relations in 2012. The Prime Minister attended the 9th ASEM in Laos in November 2012 and Senator Carr visited in February 2013. We supported Australian parliamentary involvement in the 7th Asia–Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting in Laos in October 2012.

The President of the Lao National Assembly led a parliamentary delegation to Australia in August 2012. The Lao Minister of Health visited Australia to attend the Malaria 2012 Conference in November 2012 and the Lao Minister of Education and Sports also visited Australia in November 2012 to study Australia's education system. The Vice Foreign Minister, Dr Sounthone Xayachack, visited Australia under the special visits program in June 2013.

The department provided technical assistance to Laos for its accession to the World Trade Organization in February 2013. We supported a program to improve human rights awareness in Laos to underpin our bilateral human rights dialogue and raised specific cases of concern with the Lao Government.

Profile

Jonathan Gilbert

As First Secretary at the Australian Embassy in Manila, I report on foreign policy developments, the Philippines' engagement with ASEAN, and counter-terrorism issues. I also supervise the Embassy's interfaith small grants scheme.

First Secretary in Manila, Jonathan Gilbert (centre), celebrates UN  Interfaith Harmony Week with students from Miriam College, Manila, and Rajah Muda High School, Cotabato, 4 February 2013. [Australian Embassy Manila]

First Secretary in Manila, Jonathan Gilbert (centre), celebrates UN Interfaith Harmony Week with students from Miriam College, Manila, and Rajah Muda High School, Cotabato, 4 February 2013. [Australian Embassy Manila]

Every day is different. From reporting on tensions in the South China Sea, to meeting with Muslim youth leaders in rural Mindanao, or observing national elections in a small barangay in the Visayas, it has been a unique and rewarding experience.

While I have been privileged to work on a range of complex issues of importance to Australia, I have also enjoyed discovering and learning about the Philippines—a fast-changing, beautiful and culturally-rich country on Australia's doorstep—and working alongside a fine team of professional colleagues at the embassy.

In Canberra, I worked on the India Desk as well as in the Defence Strategy and Regional Security Section. Prior to joining the department in 2007, I served in the Defence Policy Office at the Australian Embassy in Washington and worked for an international education firm in San Francisco.

East Asia Summit, ASEAN and regional issues

Our membership of the East Asia Summit provides an opportunity to work with ASEAN to build and shape an institution to help manage the historic shifts in economic, and therefore strategic, weight in our region. It is a complex and long-term project. The stakes are high. Avoiding strategic disruption and harm to regional economic opportunity is core to Australia's wellbeing.

The seventh EAS in Phnom Penh in November 2012 produced good outcomes for Australia and the region on economic integration. The meeting demonstrated the value of the summit in bringing regional leaders together to discuss key political, security and economic challenges. Leaders endorsed an Australian-sponsored declaration on drug-resistant malaria, and welcomed Australia's proposal to establish an Asia–Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance to help combat the disease. While in Phnom Penh, the Prime Minister and Dr Emerson joined leaders from 15 countries to launch negotiations for the RCEP. (See also 1.1.7)

The department facilitated Senator Carr's participation in the EAS Foreign Ministers' Meeting in July 2012. We supported ministerial and leaders' discussions on regional security issues, including the South China Sea, the Korean peninsula, and non-proliferation. We also advocated with EAS partners for deeper cooperation on finance, education, disaster management, and environment issues.

We strengthened engagement with ASEAN through co-chairing, with the Philippines, the ASEAN-Australia Forum and commencing discussions on a new plan of action to implement the Joint Declaration on the ASEAN-Australia Comprehensive Partnership. The department also supported the October 2012 visit to Australia by then ASEAN Secretary-General, Dr Surin Pitsuwan.

Australia had an active year in the ARF—a regional security body with 27 member countries. In addition to supporting the forum's work on preventive diplomacy by participating in the first ARF election observer mission for Timor-Leste's parliamentary elections, we co-chaired meetings on: non-proliferation and disarmament (with the Philippines and Japan); key trends in transnational crime in East Asia and the Pacific (with Vietnam); and disaster relief (with Indonesia).

Figure 9: Australia's trade in goods and services with ASEAN (a)

Exports, in 2007 A$25,204m, in 2008 A$31,278m, in 2009 A$27,658m, in 2010 A$29,651m, in 2011 A$35,298m, in 2012 A$34,252m. Imports, in 2007 A$45,708m, in 2008 A$58,167m, in 2009 A$48,639m, in 2010 A$50,562m, in 2011 A$52,990m, in 2012 A$57,400m. Balance, in 2007 A$-20,504m, in 2008 A$-26,889m, in 2009 A$-20,981m, in 2010 A$-20,911m, in 2011 A$-17,692m, in 2012 A$-23,148m.

(a) Goods data on a recorded trade basis, services data on a balance of payments basis.

Based on DFAT STARS database and ABS catalogue 5368.0.55.004.

 

Outlook

In 2014 we will support initiatives to mark the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Australia relations, including an ASEAN-Australia leaders' summit. In 2013–14, Australia's resident Ambassador to ASEAN will be appointed and we will support the EAS Leaders' Meeting in Brunei in October 2013. We will also work closely with Myanmar as incoming ASEAN and EAS chair to help make its inaugural chairmanship of the EAS a success.

The department will continue to focus on building the EAS's political and security agenda and entrenching it as a key institution for managing regional challenges. We will support deepening regional cooperation on drug-resistant malaria, finance, disaster management, regional connectivity, environment and energy, and education. Australia will host the second round of RCEP negotiations in September 2013.

The Australian embassy in Jakarta will monitor Indonesia's legislative elections in April 2014. We will support the inaugural Australia–Singapore Strategic Dialogue, the second Australia–Vietnam Strategic Dialogue, the Philippines–Australia Ministerial Meeting and the Australia–Malaysia Joint Trade Committee meeting.

1.1.3 Americas and Africa

Overview

Australia's hosting of the Australia–United States Ministerial (AUSMIN) consultations, together with ongoing high-level political engagement, further strengthened the bilateral relationship with our most important strategic and economic partner. The department worked closely with the United States to progress Australia's security, political and economic interests globally and in the region, including promoting a broad bilateral trade agenda, particularly through the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. We continued to ensure effective implementation of the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA).

High-level visits, academic and business-related conferences and expanded trade and diplomatic ties helped advance Australia's relations with Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. We gained observer status at Pacific Alliance negotiations. The Council on Australia Latin America Relations (COALAR) played a key role in facilitating engagement and broadening understanding of Latin America—an important agriculture and mining region proving to be an increasingly attractive export market and investment destination for innovative Australian businesses.

We made strong contributions to UN Security Council (UNSC) debates on peace and security concerns in Africa; improved stability and prosperity on the continent protects Australian economic and national security interests and ensures our development investment is not squandered. The department helped reshape Australian sanctions on Zimbabwe.

United States

The department supported visits by the Governor-General (April 2013), the Prime Minister (September 2012), and the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer (November 2012 and January 2013), to advance Australia's international political, security and economic interests with our most important strategic and economic partner.

Foreign Minister Carr's four visits helped progress Australia's close engagement with the US Administration and congressional figures on key global, regional and bilateral issues, particularly following President Obama's re-election. Various meetings with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, offered opportunities for further cooperation, including on regional engagement, responding to the conflict in Syria and promoting the Middle East Peace Process. Minister for Trade Dr Emerson visited Washington DC in July 2012 to participate in the Australian American Leadership Dialogue, an important second track initiative focused on strengthening the bilateral relationship.

Two visits to Australia under the special visits program—by Richard Fontaine, President of the Center for a New American Security and Ernie Bower, Senior Adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies—further advanced two-way engagement.

The Prime Minister's meetings with both Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary of Defense Panetta in conjunction with the AUSMIN consultations in Perth in November 2012, further strengthened high-level dialogue. AUSMIN reviewed implementation of the Australia–United States alliance including recent force posture initiatives, and explored medium-term avenues to enhance naval cooperation and closer collaboration on space. The outcomes demonstrated the adaptability of the alliance in meeting contemporary and evolving strategic challenges.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Carr, US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, speak to the press following the AUSMIN consultations, Perth, 14 November 2012. [DFAT/Ron D'Raine]

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Carr, US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, speak to the press following the AUSMIN consultations, Perth, 14 November 2012. [DFAT/Ron D'Raine]

 

The department worked in cooperation with the Department of Defence to deepen Australian–US cooperation in the Asia–Pacific in support of the United States' rebalance to the region.

We also maintained close dialogue on the UNSC and the G20, the international mission in Afghanistan, democratic reform in Myanmar, international responses to the conflict in Syria, the Middle East Peace Process, and the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea.

As part of our efforts to advance Australia's global and regional trade agenda through the WTO and TPP, we supported Dr Emerson's advocacy with the US Administration.

The United States remains Australia's largest total two-way investment partner with total investment stock worth over $1 trillion in 2012, an increase of 8.8 per cent from 2011. The United States was Australia's largest two-way services partner ($16.3 billion in 2012), and our third-largest overall trading partner in 2012, with goods and services trade worth $56.2 billion, an increase of 3.2 per cent over 2011.

The department analysed developments in US fiscal policy and the potential impacts on Australia's interests. We raised specific trade concerns with the US Administration, pressed for genuine agricultural reform, including through the next US Farm Bill, and pursued expanded market access for Australian agricultural products. Implementation of the AUSFTA remained a priority (see also 1.1.7).

We worked closely with other Australian government agencies to assist Australian companies successfully resolve market access issues in the United States. Close engagement with business, including with respective chambers of commerce, helped cement strong economic ties.

The department supported G'Day USA 2013. Over 25 events in eight US cities showcased Australian business capability, innovation, policy, research, education, tourism and culture.

The department continued its strong support of the Australian–American Fulbright Commission through its representation on the Fulbright Board and agreed to extend sponsorship of the Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Australia–US Alliance Studies for a further three years.

Figure 10: Australia's trade in goods and services with the United States (a)

Exports in 2007 A$15,560m, in 2008 A$17,846m, in 2009 A$14,976m, in 2010 A$14,289m, in 2011 A$14,993m, in 2012 A$14,632m. Imports in 2007 A$32,751m, in 2008 A$37,461m, in 2009 A$34,780m, in 2010 A$35,721m, in 2011 A$39,469m, in 2012 A$41,556m. Balance in 2007 A$-17,191m, in 2008 A$-19,615m, in 2009 A$-19,804m, in 2010 A$-21,432m, in 2011 A$-24,476m, in 2012 A$-26,924m.

(a) Goods data on a recorded trade basis, services data on a balance of payments basis.

Based on DFAT STARS database and ABS catalogue 5368.0.55.004 and unpublished ABS data.

 

Canada

The first official visit by an Australian Governor-General in April 2013 helped boost bilateral relations with Canada. With the inclusion of Australian Indigenous leaders in the delegation, the visit gave a modern focus to cooperation between the two countries on indigenous economic development, education and multiculturalism.

The department helped facilitate an enhanced policy dialogue among senior Australian and Canadian policy makers in Ottawa in July 2012 under the auspices of the Canada–Australia Public Policy Initiative. The Secretary, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Dr Ian Watt, led two days of discussions between the Australian delegation of seven departmental secretaries and Canadian counterparts. Discussion covered common challenges, including engagement in Asia, natural resource management, demographic shifts, productivity, government service delivery and social inclusion.

We promoted the 2nd Australia–Canada Economic Leadership Forum in Toronto in July 2012, including support for participation by the Minister for Resources and Energy. The forum endorsed eleven recommendations for improving economic links, six of which we are pursuing through the TPP agreement negotiations and the remainder bilaterally.

We also assisted with visits to Canada by the Minister for Workplace Relations and a number of parliamentary delegations.

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Harry Jenkins, accompanied by Third Secretary Ottawa, Lucas Robson, chairs a workshop on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 127th Parliament of Canada Ottowa, Québec City, 23 October 2012. [Parliament of Canada Ottawa]

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Harry Jenkins, accompanied by Third Secretary Ottawa, Lucas Robson, chairs a workshop on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 127th Parliament of Canada Ottowa, Québec City, 23 October 2012. [Parliament of Canada Ottawa]

 

Latin America and the Caribbean

The department partnered with business and universities to strengthen commercial and education engagement with Latin America and raise the profile of the region in Australia. Through COALAR, we supported the inaugural University of Melbourne-hosted Latin America Dialogue in August 2012, together with an Australian Football League event to promote broader sporting links. We also participated in the University of Queensland-hosted Latin America Colloquium in October 2012.

In 2012–13, COALAR funded 16 projects worth over $420 000 and launched Great Southern Lands, a publication on Australia's relations with Brazil. A board member visited Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexicoto promote Australia as a supplier of energy and water management solutions.

Also, in conjunction with COALAR, we worked with education and business stakeholders to hold the first Australia–Brazil Second Track Dialogue in São Paulo in March 2013. The inclusion of high-profile journalists in the Australian delegation led to extensive media coverage of the opportunities for Australian business in Brazil. As agreed by leaders under the Australia–Brazil Strategic Partnership, the Second Track Dialogue will be followed by an officials-level Strategic Dialogue to be held in 2013–14.

In November 2012, Australia achieved observer status at the Pacific Alliance—an outward-looking, Asia-focussed progressive trade and economic negotiation among Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. In May 2013, Parliamentary Secretary for Trade Kelvin Thomson attended the Pacific Alliance summit in Colombia and visited Chile to discuss trade interests. We also supported the Deputy Prime Minister's visit to Mexico for a G20 meeting in November 2012.

The department supported the high-level visit by Chilean President, Sebastián Piñera, to Australia in September 2012. The President witnessed the signing of agreements on mining, development cooperation and biosecurity and endorsed future officials-level defence-related discussions. The Australia–Chile Double Taxation Agreement entered into force in February 2013.

The department brought visitors to Australia from Brazil, Argentina and Dominican Republic to strengthen economic, cultural, agriculture and education linkages and we worked with Tourism Australia on a visit by an Argentine journalist.

Australia's engagement with Latin America over the last two decades has been led by the private sector. From only 24 in 1999, there are now over 240 Australian companies active in Latin America, primarily from the mining sector. To support the growing Australian commercial engagement, Minister for Trade Dr Emerson spoke at the South America Diggers mining conference in September 2012.

In May 2013, Senator Carr addressed the Latin America Down Under (LADU) mining conference held in Sydney and also met department-sponsored journalists from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico. The conference was well attended, with seven visiting delegations which included mining ministers from Chile, Peru and Guyana and senior officials from Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic and Mexico. Austrade arranged some 88 meetings in the margins of the conference between Australian business and the delegations. Australian ambassadors and consuls-general in the region used LADU to underscore commercial opportunities.

The department facilitated El Salvador opening an embassy in Canberra, the first resident embassy from a Central American country in Australia. We also supported Austrade's establishment of a consulate-general in Bogotá.

To strengthen engagement with Latin America through dialogue, departmental officials participated in the Forum for East Asia Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) Foreign Ministers' Meeting held in Bali, in June 2013, and the FEALAC Senior Officials' Meeting in Bogotá in 2012. Following the conclusion of memorandums of understanding in 2010–11, we held inaugural senior officials' talks in Peru and Uruguay, and participated in the first Australia–New Zealand Closer Economic Relations–Mercosur talks in Brasilia. We held discussions with the Community of Latin America and Caribbean Economic States troika (Chile, Cuba and Venezuela) in 2012.

We supported efforts to strengthen the flow of students to Australia, particularly from countries with government-funded schemes such as Peru's PRONABEC (Peruvian national tertiary education program). Our advocacy resulted in Australian universities being allocated 3 000 students under the Brazilian Government's 'Science Without Borders' scholarship program. There were over 10 000 Brazilian students studying in Australia in 2012.

The department continued to support parliamentary ties, including a visit to Argentina and Brazil by Senate President John Hogg and parliamentary delegations to Argentina, Paraguay and the International Parliamentary Union Conference in Quito.

We advanced engagement with Caribbean nations across a range of shared bilateral, regional and multilateral interests, including through high-level meetings in the United Nations and the Commonwealth. We supported then Parliamentary Secretary Marles' visit to Haitiin September 2012, highlighting Australia's humanitarian disaster support to the island.

Ambassador to Brazil, Brett Hackett (left), moderates a panel discussion with regional heads of mission/post at the Latin America Down Under Conference, Sydney, 29 May 2013. Panel (left to right): Consul-General in Bogotá, Crispin Conroy; Ambassador to Argentina, Patricia Holmes; Ambassador to Peru, John Woods; Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Ross Tysoe; and Ambassador to Chile, Tim Kane. [PAYDIRT/Bryan Charlton]

Ambassador to Brazil, Brett Hackett (left), moderates a panel discussion with regional heads of mission/post at the Latin America Down Under Conference, Sydney, 29 May 2013. Panel (left to right): Consul-General in Bogotá, Crispin Conroy; Ambassador to Argentina, Patricia Holmes; Ambassador to Peru, John Woods; Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Ross Tysoe; and Ambassador to Chile, Tim Kane. [PAYDIRT/Bryan Charlton]

 

Table 3: Australia's trade in goods and services with the Americas (a)

Exports
Exports
Imports (b)
Imports (b)
Goods and services
2011
2012
Trend
growth
2007–2012
2011
2012
Trend
growth
2007–2012
$m
$m
%
$m
$m
%
United States (c)
14,993
14,632
-2.5
39,469
41,556
4.0
Canada
2,327
2,453
-1.0
2,579
3,225
-0.9
Mexico
1,187
936
7.7
1,826
2,036
11.3
Total NAFTA
18,507
18,021
-1.8
43,874
46,817
3.9
Total Central America & Caribbean (d)
303
253
-7.9
1,066
1,177
3.7
Brazil (e)
1,391
991
2.3
825
638
-7.9
Chile
674
661
12.5
1,160
1,480
18.2
Argentina (e)
380
273
17.5
550
606
16.0
Total South America
3,557
3,112
6.3
3,019
3,251
6.4
Total Americas
22,367
21,386
-0.9
43,998
48,159
2.0

(a) Goods data on a recorded trade basis, services data on a balance of payments basis.

(b) Imports total excludes imports of ABS confidential items (mainly aircraft) from September 2008 onwards.

(c) 2011 and 2012 based on unpublished ABS data and includes confidential items (incl aircraft) imports.

(d) Excluding Mexico.

(e) Goods data only. Services data is not published by the ABS for these countries.

Based on DFAT STARS database, ABS catalogue 5368.0.55.004 and unpublished ABS data.

Profile

Chris Lim

As First Secretary and Consul at the Australian embassy in Mexico City, I lead the team providing financial, property, human resources, security and visits support. I also manage an extensive consular and passport services network that enables us to assist Australians in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Cuba and Dominican Republic.

Chris Lim

It has been a privilege to work in Mexico and the Central American region where Australia has growing engagement. It was particularly interesting to observe Mexico's presidency of the G20 in 2012 which culminated in the Leaders' Summit in Los Cabos. The embassy's work in support of our UNSC campaign in Mexico and eight other countries of accreditation was also a highlight. My role has enabled me to travel across the region and represent Australia, including in Cuba—a unique country with many challenges but also incredible beauty and vibrancy. Working with the department has been very rewarding and has allowed me to use my skills in different environments.

I joined the department as a corporate graduate in 2003 and am a qualified CPA. I have worked in numerous corporate areas in Canberra, most recently managing the department's internal budget in the Finance Management Branch. I have also worked overseas in South Korea and Cambodia.

Africa

The department used our enhanced diplomatic presence on the continent and high-level visits, including ministerial attendance at two African Union summits, to strengthen relations with countries and regional institutions in Africa.

We held senior officials' talks with Nigeriain November 2012 and South Africa in May 2013, and assisted with visits to Australia by the MozambiquePresident in March 2013 and the Foreign Minister of Mauritania in June 2013.

We supported then Parliamentary Secretary Marles' visit to South Africa, Kenya and South Sudanin January 2013 as part of our effort to contribute effectively to debate on key African issues before the UNSC. Mr Marles also visited the Seychelles in January 2013 for the Council of the Indian Ocean Commission meeting—representing Australia as the Vice-Chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation. In March 2013, he visited Mauritius, Comoros and Réunion, demonstrating Australia's commitment to working closely with small island states in the Indian Ocean.

Australia's engagement with the grew, including as a result of Mr Marles' attendance at the July 2012 and January 2013 summits in Ethiopia. In line with our efforts to expand cooperation with other regional institutions on the continent, we signed a memorandum of understanding with the Southern African Development Community and supported a visit to Australia by the organisation's executive secretary.

Then Parliamentary Secretary Richard Marles (centre) talks to the Managing Director, East African Standby Force (EASFOR), Major General Cyrille Ndayirukiye, at the opening session of the African Union Executive Council, with DFAT officers Dave Sharma (left) and Gaia Puleston, Addis Ababa, 12 July 2012. [DFAT]

Then Parliamentary Secretary Richard Marles (centre) talks to the Managing Director, East African Standby Force (EASFOR), Major General Cyrille Ndayirukiye, at the opening session of the African Union Executive Council, with DFAT officers Dave Sharma (left) and Gaia Puleston, Addis Ababa, 12 July 2012. [DFAT]

 

We worked with African partners and fellow members of the UNSC to address peace and security concerns, including in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Mali, Somalia and Sudan/South Sudan. We participated in the London Conference on Somalia in May 2013.

The department again led Australia's response to Zimbabwe's political situation and conducted a fresh review of Australia's sanctions. We oversaw two phases of the easing of sanctions in response to positive political developments in Zimbabwe including the adoption of a new constitution. Zimbabwe's Prime Minister, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, and Finance Minister, Mr Tendai Biti, each visited Australia in 2012 with the department's support.

We promoted Australia's growing trade and investment partnership with Africa, including at the Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town in February 2013 and the Africa Down Under (ADU) mining conference in Perth in August 2012. The ADU was opened by Senator Carr and attended by 17 African ministers. Since 2009 Australia's merchandise trade with Africa has more than doubled, to over $10 billion in 2012, while current and prospective Australian investment in Africa remains strong.

Table 4: Australia's trade in goods and services with Africa (a)

Exports
Exports
Imports
Imports
Goods and services
2011
2012
Trend
growth
2007–2012
2011
2012
Trend
growth
2007–2012
$m
$m
%
$m
$m
%
South Africa
2,081
1,915
-7.8
1,222
1,286
-6.9
Other
2,646
2,642
2.3
4,822
6,420
57.2
Total Africa
4,727
4,557
-2.8
6,044
7,706
27.0

(a) Goods data on a recorded trade basis, services data on a balance of payments basis.

Based on DFAT STARS database and ABS catalogue 5368.0.55.004.

Profile

Bianca Milner

I joined the department as a locally engaged accountant in November 2010, after working for over eight years with the international accounting firm, Deloitte & Touche. I am now the Office Manager in Harare overseeing the various roles and functions of the post.

Bianca Milner

I am dedicated to perfecting corporate systems and carrying out all my duties with pride and precision. In November 2012, I was selected to attend the LES Leadership Development Program in Canberra. I learned critical lessons and discovered the value of networking with colleagues across the globe to share knowledge. The experience assisted me to improve operations at post.

Working for DFAT has broadened my knowledge of Australian culture and the responsibilities of the Australian Government. The environment in a small post can be challenging so to be successful it is important to find the right balance between the cultures and effectively manage changes in staff. I am grateful for the experiences to date and look forward to learning more and growing with the department. It is a pleasure to work for an organisation that takes pride in, and values, its staff.

Outlook

The department will continue to partner with key areas of the US Administration to enhance our countries' respective engagement in the Asia–Pacific region. AUSMIN 2013 will provide further impetus to the bilateral relationship. We will continue to focus our efforts on the implementation of AUSFTA, to enhance and strengthen trade and investment links.

The department will deepen dialogue with Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, including through the third Australia–Canada Economic Leadership Dialogue, inaugural Australia–Brazil Strategic Dialogue, inaugural Australia–Mexico Second Track Dialogue and inclusion of defence representatives in the next iteration of Australia–Chile Senior Officials' Talks. We will look for opportunities to support Pacific Alliance members in their ambitious plans to create a single market for goods, services, capital and labour.

The department will continue our increased level of engagement with African countries and regional institutions, and make effective contributions on African security issues through our membership of the UNSC and our work with international partners.

1.1.4 Europe

Overview

Australia's relations with the European Union (EU) and with individual European countries matter. Europe remains a major focus of trade and investment and an important strategic player in dealing with emerging 21st century security threats. Despite ongoing uncertainty in much of the continent, we maintained good momentum in Australian–EU engagement. Australia's UN Security Council (UNSC) membership and Europe's increased interest in Asia helped prompt closer collaboration.

We concluded a Strategic Partnership with Germany, establishing a high-level institutional framework to guide our wide-ranging cooperation.

We agreed on the text of a Crisis Management Agreement with the European Union and helped conclude a delegated cooperation arrangement—the first such EU arrangement with a non-European country. Key differences precluded finalisation of an Australia–European Union Framework Agreement.

The department promoted Australia's trade and investment interests in Europe, including through support for the June 2013 visit, led by the Governor-General, to Austria, Belgium, Slovakia and France by a delegation of the European Australia Business Council.

We maintained high-level dialogue with our key European partners, conducting annual ministerial talks with the United Kingdom and political–military talks with France.

The department reached out to a range of bilateral partners through high-level visits and an expanded program of senior officials' meetings, including with Belarus, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Italy, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey.

Australia's relationship with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) continued to grow, extending from cooperation in Afghanistan to emerging new security threats. We hosted the annual Asian Partners Conference of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Adelaide in March 2013, enabling greater engagement with European and Central Asian partners on physical and economic security issues affecting women and girls.

We increased our engagement with Russia through joint membership of the UNSC and collaboration in APEC and the G20, both of which Russia chaired. We worked constructively with Turkey, including on preparations for the 2015 ANZAC centenary.

Reflecting tight budgetary pressure, the government decided to close the embassy in Budapest.

Figure 11: Australia's trade in goods and services with the European Union (a)

Exports, in 2007 A$28,484m, in 2008 A$32,446m, in 2009 A$26,087m, in 2010 A$27,035m, in 2011 A$27,840m, in 2012 A$25,468m. Imports, in 2007 A$51,995m, in 2008 A$59,781m, in 2009 A$51,246m, in 2010 A$51,179m, in 2011 A$53,734m, in 2012 A$56,170m. Balance, in 2007 A$-23,511m, in 2008 A$-27,335m, in 2009 A$-25,159m, in 2010 A$-24,144m, in 2011 A$-25,894m, in 2012 A$-30,702m.

(a) Goods data on a recorded trade basis, services data on a balance of payments basis.

Based on DFAT STARS database and ABS catalogue 5368.0.55.004.

 

European Union

The department continued to promote Australia's enhanced engagement with the European Union. The Governor-General led a high-level business mission representing the European Australian Business Council on a visit to Belgium, Austria, Slovakia and France. The visit deepened ties between business communities and highlighted the strong investment partnership between Australia and the European Union—worth $1 trillion in 2012. As a bloc, the European Union is our second biggest trading partner and largest investor.

We supported Senator Carr's visit to Brussels in April 2013 to address the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament and meet senior EU figures. The pattern of biennial parliamentary visits continued in 2013 with a delegation of seven members of the European Parliament visiting Australia in February. These visits helped maintain momentum created by the commemoration of 50 years of Australian–EU diplomatic relations in 2012.

Negotiations for a treaty-level framework agreement between Australia and the European Union slowed. While the vast majority of chapters have been agreed, negotiations stalled due to some key outstanding differences. Better results were achieved in negotiations led by the department for a Crisis Management Agreement with the European Union. Once approved, including by respective parliaments, the agreement will strengthen our ability to respond to international crises by enabling Australian contributions to EU-led civilian and military missions.

By supporting the Prime Minister's participation in the Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in Laos in November 2012, the department facilitated political dialogue with Europe at the highest levels. The department-led initiative to reform ASEM's working methods received good initial support and will be progressed further at ASEM meetings in late 2013.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Carr (left), accompanied by Ambassador to the European Union, Duncan Lewis, addresses the European Parliament, Brussels, April 2013. [Australian Embassy Brussels/Fred Guerdin].

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Carr (left), accompanied by Ambassador to the European Union, Duncan Lewis, addresses the European Parliament, Brussels, April 2013. [Australian Embassy Brussels/Fred Guerdin].

 

In Brussels we helped AusAID finalise agreement on a delegated cooperation arrangement with the European Union—the first such EU arrangement with a non-European country. The arrangement will maximise each partner's relative development assistance strengths, allowing the European Union to deliver a project on food security in South Sudan for Australia, and Australia to deliver a vocational training project in Fiji for the European Union.

On climate change, the department played an important role in enabling Australia and the European Union to reach agreement on a one-way emissions trading link, which will allow Australian entities to access European emissions allowances. We laid important groundwork for future negotiations on a two-way link. As part of this effort, two visits were facilitated to Brussels for the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, as well as a number of senior officials.

Through ministerial and officials-level contact in Canberra, Brussels and EU member state capitals, the department continued to advocate open and liberal global trade. We led the Australian delegation to the annual Australia–EU Trade Policy Dialogue in Brussels in May 2013. The embassy in Brussels pressed Australian interests in response to developments in the Eurozone, the EU's internal market and new areas of regulation, including by supporting the Treasury-led annual macroeconomic dialogue with the European Union.

European Security

Australia's growing relationship with NATO is built on our contribution to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan and the perspectives we bring to NATO as an Indo–Pacific nation. In February 2013, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Defence Minister Stephen Smith signed the Australia-NATO Individual Partnership Cooperation Program, which provides the basis for ongoing practical cooperation, including on maritime security.

The department also hosted the Australia-OSCE Conference on Improving the Security of Women and Girls in Adelaide from 18–19 March 2013. (See also 1.1.6.)

Europe – bilateral relationships

The department continued to pursue priority Australian foreign policy and economic interests with the United Kingdom, Australia's closest economic, security, intelligence and development partner in Europe. Australia hosted the fifth Australia–United Kingdom Ministerial (AUKMIN) Consultations in January at which ministers agreed to close cooperation on the UNSC agenda in 2013–14 and on global economic issues ahead of Australia's G20 presidency in 2014. Australia and the United Kingdom signed a memorandum of understanding to permit exchange of diplomatic staff, which has begun.

Our High Commission in London continued to manage effectively a heavy workload of official visits. This included provision of strong support to the Australian athletes, Governor-General and ministers during the London Olympic and Paralympic Games from June to September 2012.

The department built relations with the Hollande administration, including through support for visits to France by the Governor-General, Foreign Minister and other ministers, business delegations and senior officials. During her visit to Paris in May 2013, the Governor-General participated in the opening of a landmark installation by Indigenous artist Lena Nyabdi, which traverses the roof of the Musée du quai Branly and is visible from the nearby Eiffel Tower. The installation symbolises Australia's continued commitment to cultural cooperation with France and promotion of Indigenous art overseas. The opening complemented other initiatives by the embassy in Paris to promote Indigenous art, including support for the exhibitions 'Tjurrkutjanu – the Origins of Aboriginal Painting' and 'Luminous'. (See also 1.1.13)

Profile

Thomas Vitart

I first experienced Australia as a student. I enjoyed it so much that I joined the Australian embassy in Paris in 2003, first as an intern and then as a Special Events Coordinator in charge of the launch and promotion of the Working Holiday Visa. In June 2004, I joined DIAC, processing visa applications and providing information to clients, but also representing Australia at professional fairs and representative events. Working in various areas of the embassy has developed my knowledge of the large range of activities pursued by the Australian Government.

Thomas Vitart

As Protocol, Visits and Transport Manager since April 2008, I am in charge of coordinating the logistics around high-level visits to France and other accredited countries such as Algeria and Morocco. I also supervise the transport team. We receive a large number of visits and each one is different. In November 2011, I was part of the advance team for the Prime Minister's visit during the G20 in Cannes. In June 2012, I was closely involved with Senator Carr's visit to Algeria. Each year, our team is involved in the ANZAC Day ceremonies, and in May 2013, I had the honour to participate in the visit of the Governor-General. I enjoy the diversity and the multicultural aspects of the job and seek to play my part in building the diplomatic relationships between Australia and the embassy's countries of accreditation.

 

We strengthened cooperation with France under the bilateral Strategic Partnership signed in January 2012, including intensive cooperation on the UNSC agenda. ANZAC Day commemorative activities in northern France continued to attract growing numbers of Australian visitors.

Commemorations of 60 years of diplomatic relations with Germanyculminated in the signing of a bilateral Strategic Partnership by the Foreign Minister and his German counterpart, Guido Westerwelle, in Berlin in January 2013. The partnership provides a framework for enhancing cooperation across the breadth of relations, including on foreign policy, international security, economic relations, environment, science, culture, development cooperation and social policy.

Through sustained advocacy, working with the Office for the Arts, the department, through the embassy in Berlin, secured the first repatriation of Indigenous ancestral remains from Germany (from Charité Medical University). We also achieved the return of ancestral remains from the Czech Republic after four years of negotiation. We continue to pursue repatriations from other European institutions holding ancestral remains.

Australia's relationship with Russia continued to grow and deepen. The department established regular consultations on matters of common interest and supported several high-level visits over the course of the year. Our bilateral trading relationship received a boost in 2012 with the first test shipment of Australian uranium. We worked closely with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to secure Russian recognition of Australia's high-quality beef standards and, following the partial re-opening of the kangaroo meat trade in November 2012, to secure further kangaroo meat exports to Russia. Australia and Russia cooperated closely in APEC, which Russia hosted in 2012, as well as in the G20 during Russia's 2013 presidency. Our UNSC membership provided opportunities for intensified consultations on international peace and security issues.

Australia's Ambassador to Turkey, Ian Biggs, joins school children at a Clean Up The World activity—an Australian initiative that has spread throughout much of the world—Ankara, 17 May 2013. [Australian Embassy Ankara]

Australia's Ambassador to Turkey, Ian Biggs, joins school children at a Clean Up The World activity—an Australian initiative that has spread throughout much of the world—Ankara, 17 May 2013. [Australian Embassy Ankara]

Our engagement with Turkey continued to develop, with the department supporting Trade Minister Emerson's visit in October 2012. Discussions encompassed Turkey's role within the G20 troika and emphasised the government's interest in developing a Turkey–Australia Business Chamber with commercial links in both countries to boost bilateral trade. The embassy in Ankara and consulate in Çanakkale worked with Australian and Turkish authorities to hold successful 2013 Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli.

With Spain, the department assisted with the visit by Defence Minister Pedro Morenés to attend the naming of the Spanish-built Landing Helicopter Dock, HMAS Canberra, and to launch the Spain–Australia Foundation in Melbourne. Commercial relations were boosted by the April 2013 visit to Spain by Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese.

The department facilitated Minister Albanese's November 2012 visit to Italy, along with the Chief of the Air Force, and a visit to Australia by Italian Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, Dr Staffan De Mistura, who led a major infrastructure delegation. During senior officials' talks in Rome in April 2013, Australia's Ambassador to Italy signed a bilateral memorandum of understanding on scientific research and technology. Dr Enrico Letta, who visited Australia as a guest of the department in May 2012, was appointed Italian Prime Minister in April 2013.

The department supported a visit in May 2013 by Polish Foreign Minister, Radosław Sikorski, following which ministers agreed to participate in a summit involving foreign and defence ministers to develop our cooperation on global issues. The May 2013 visit by Marcin Zaborowski, Director of the Polish Institute for International Affairs, as a guest of the department enhanced bilateral exchange on issues of common strategic concern.

The government decided to close Australia's embassy in Budapest, solely as a result of financial factors in a tight fiscal environment. The closure in no way reflected a downgrading of our close and productive bilateral relationship with Hungary which will be managed by our embassy in Vienna. We are continuing to progress negotiation of a bilateral work and holiday visa agreement.

Increasing co-operation with Denmark on global security, development, and climate challenges was underpinned by more regular ministerial and senior official meetings. Danish Defence Minister, Nick Haekkerup, visited Australia in December 2012 and the permanent secretary of the Danish foreign ministry, Claus Grube, visited Canberra in April 2013. We continued to foster growing oil and gas sector links with Norway, including by advocating Australian investment opportunities at Norway's premier subsea conference in Bergen in June 2013. The department assisted with a visit to Finland by then Minister for Housing, Homelessness and Small Business, Brendan O'Connor, in August 2012.

The department supported visits to Sweden by the Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin, in August 2012 and Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, and Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, in February 2013. Defence links were further underlined by the May 2013 announcement of a bilateral agreement on intellectual property rights for submarine design and technology. Foreign Minister Carl Bildt's visit in February 2013 was the first by a Swedish foreign minister since 1985.

The department managed a visit by Health Minister Tanya Plibersek to lovenia in September 2012 for bilateral discussions with the Slovenian President, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister. The department worked with other Australian agencies to facilitate negotiations for a bilateral Air Services Agreement with Serbia and a memorandum of understanding on police cooperation with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The department assisted with the opening of Kosovo's embassy in Canberra in February 2013.

In May 2013, Australia's Special Representative to Cyprus, Ric Wells, visited Nicosia as part of our efforts to help resolve the Cyprus question. The department also supported the visit to Cyprus by Minister for the Arts Tony Burke to strengthen bilateral cultural cooperation. We worked closely with Greece's> authorities on commemorative events for the Battle of Crete, this year attended by the Chief of Navy. Australian parliamentary representatives and delegations visited Malta in November 2012 and Portugal in February 2013.

Relations with other European states were strengthened by then Parliamentary Secretary Marles' visit to Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria in July 2012—the visit also underlined Australia's support for Croatia's accession to the European Union on 1 July 2013. The department welcomed visits by the foreign ministers of Armenia(celebrating 20 years of diplomatic relations with Australia) and Albania and the deputy foreign ministers of Romania and Belaru.

Profile

Damien Miller

In May 2013, I took up my appointment as Australia's Ambassador to Denmark with non-resident accreditation to Norway and Iceland. I am the first Indigenous Australian to serve as head of an overseas Australian mission. I feel very honoured to be the first Indigenous ambassador and I am conscious of the legacy of the department's Indigenous officers who have gone before me. I look forward to seeing future ambassadors emerge from the ranks of the 50 Indigenous officers currently serving.

Damien Miller

Based in Copenhagen, I see strengthening government, trade, education and people-to-people links as my priorities. Australia and the Nordics share the same values and there is much we are doing together to address global security challenges, such as in Afghanistan, and to promote sustainable development and good governance around the world. Building bilateral trade and investment links with Denmark, Norway and Iceland is an important objective. There are, for example, synergies between the Australian and Danish clean energy and biotechnology sectors, which I am working to exploit.

Before this appointment, I was deputy head of mission in Berlin. I have had a rich and rewarding DFAT career which is currently focused on Europe but has been previously focused on Asia. I served as director of the Afghanistan section in 2009 and my first posting was as Third Secretary in Kuala Lumpur. Before joining the department, I worked at a commercial law firm in Sydney while completing my law degree and was chosen as 'Aboriginal Scholar of the Year' by the National NAIDOC Committee in 1993.

High Commissioner to Cyprus, Trevor Peacock, and Superintendent Adrian Norris, Commander AFP contingent, UNFICYP, at a post overlooking Nicosia across the 'Green Line' into north Cyprus, June 2013. Australia has supported the UN's efforts in Cyprus continuously since UNFICYP's establishment in 1964. [DFAT]

High Commissioner to Cyprus, Trevor Peacock, and Superintendent Adrian Norris, Commander AFP contingent, UNFICYP, at a post overlooking Nicosia across the 'Green Line' into north Cyprus, June 2013. Australia has supported the UN's efforts in Cyprus continuously since UNFICYP's establishment in 1964. [DFAT]

 

Table 5: Australia's trade in goods and services with Europe (a)

Exports
Exports
Imports (b)
Imports (b)
Goods and services
2011
2012
Trend
growth
2007–2012
2011
2012
Trend
growth
2007–2012
$m
$m
%
$m
$m
%
United Kingdom
11,456
10,585
-3.4
11,855
11,761
-2.9
Netherlands
3,916
3,394
1.0
2,898
3,269
6.5
Germany
3,278
2,979
3.2
11,999
12,745
1.7
France (b)
1,830
1,739
-5.0
4,816
4,892
-3.2
Italy
1,589
1,189
-8.0
6,114
6,313
1.9
Total European Union 27 (b)
27,840
25,468
-2.8
53,734
56,170
0.2
Russian Federation
1,096
930
3.2
1,085
954
29.7
Other Europe
2,816
2,782
-4.4
6,626
6,412
4.6
Total Europe (b)
31,752
29,180
-2.8
61,445
63,536
0.8

(a) Goods data on a recorded trade basis, services data on a balance of payments basis.

(b) Imports total excludes imports of ABS confidential items (mainly aircraft) from September 2008 onwards.

Based on DFAT STARS database and ABS catalogue 5368.0.55.004.

 

Outlook

In the year ahead, Australia's UNSC membership and hosting of the G20 will deliver a robust agenda of activity with European partners and the European Union. We will continue to engage with the European Union, particularly in the high priority areas of crisis management, development cooperation and our joint interest in a stable Indo–Pacific area. We will seek to resolve differences in the Australia–EU Framework Agreement negotiations while protecting our interests.

We will remain active and constructive interlocutors with the European Union on international trade policy and global economic governance, particularly as the EU negotiations begin on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the United States.

We will consolidate our Strategic Partnerships with France and Germany and further strengthen our close cooperation with the United Kingdom on a range of global issues.

Australia will coordinate closely with Russia and Turkey as part of the G20 troika over the next three years. We will continue efforts to deepen our relationship with Russia, focussing on Russia's G20 presidency in 2013 and enhancing our bilateral trade links.

We will build on our program of cooperation with NATO to pursue Australian interests in Afghanistan and other theatres.

As we step up preparations for the 2015 centenary of the Gallipoli campaign, we will consider ways to enhance our ties with Turkey to reflect the strength and diversity of the contemporary relationship. This effort will incorporate numerous cultural diplomacy initiatives as part of the 2015 'Year of Australia in Turkey' and 'Year of Turkey in Australia'.

1.1.5 South and West Asia and Middle East

Overview

The department continued to add depth to Australia's strategic partnership with India, including through facilitation of high-level visits. We deepened the economic relationship by supporting the Joint Ministerial Commission, co-chaired by Dr Emerson, and the Australia–India CEO Forum. We progressed negotiations on a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement.

We led Australia's whole-of-government efforts in support of security, economic and political transition in Afghanistan, including Australia's military and civilian drawdown in Uruzgan province.

The department coordinated Australia's engagement with Pakistan on development, economic reform and security issues. We advanced Australia's relationship with Sri Lanka, building cooperation on people smuggling and constructive engagement to promote human rights.

The department worked to strengthen Australia's engagement with the Middle East and North Africa, including through Senator Carr's visits to six regional countries and the Palestinian Territories. The department led Australia's response to the crisis in Syria and its regional implications.

The department promoted Australia's trade and investment interests in the Middle East, particularly in the Gulf countries. We concluded a Joint Action Plan with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

India

The department led implementation of a comprehensive whole-of-government strategy to build the strategic partnership with India.

We expanded high-level contacts through support for the Prime Minister's state visit to India in October 2012. The visit resulted in agreement to hold annual prime ministerial meetings, establish a ministerial dialogue on energy security and commence negotiations on a civil nuclear cooperation agreement. The first negotiating round was held in March 2013.

In January 2013, we facilitated Senator Carr's participation in the 8th round of the Foreign Ministers' Framework Dialogue in New Delhi. Ministers resolved to work closely to strengthen regional and global institutions such as the East Asia Summit and G20. Building on the outcomes of the Prime Minister's visit, Senator Carr announced a $12 million initiative under the bilateral Water Science and Technology Partnership to assist India in managing its water resources.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Carr, and India's Minister for External Affairs, Salman Khurshid, at the 8th Foreign Ministers' Framework Dialogue, New Delhi, 21 January 2013. [DFAT/Graham Crouch]

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Carr, and India's Minister for External Affairs, Salman Khurshid, at the 8th Foreign Ministers' Framework Dialogue, New Delhi, 21 January 2013. [DFAT/Graham Crouch]

 

The department supported Dr Emerson's co-chairing of the 14th session of the Joint Ministerial Commission, held in New Delhi on 29 January. The meeting promoted closer trade and investment relations, with two-way trade exceeding $17 billion in 2012, and highlighted the interests of both countries in further cooperation on regional and global economic issues.

In October 2012, the department supported the second meeting of the Australia–India CEO Forum which made recommendations to government, including on resources investment and services trade. We made progress in the 5th round of negotiations for a bilateral comprehensive economic cooperation agreement in May 2013 (see 1.1.7).

The department and posts in New Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai, with strong support from other government agencies, state governments and the private sector, coordinated Oz Fest—a major celebration of Australian culture which helped to enhance understanding of contemporary Australia in India. Following concerns in India about student safety in Australia, Oz Fest showcased Australia as a multicultural, tolerant and welcoming society. (See 1.1.13)

Figure 12: Australia's trade in goods and services with India (a)

Exports, in 2007 A$11,353m, in 2008 A$16,456m, in 2009 A$17,994m, in 2010 A$19,417m, in 2011 A$17,392m, in 2012 A$14,005m. Imports, in 2007 A$1,946m, in 2008 A$2,524m, in 2009 A$2,692m, in 2010 A$2,624m, in 2011 A$2,957m, in 2012 A$3,448m. Balance, in 2007 A$9,407m, in 2008 A$13,932m, in 2009 A$15,302m, in 2010 A$16,793m, in 2011 A$14,435m, in 2012 A$10,557m.

(a) Goods data on a recorded trade basis, services data on a balance of payments basis.

Based on DFAT STARS database and ABS catalogue 5368.0.55.004.

 

Table 6: Australia's trade in goods and services with countries in South Asia and the GCC (a)

Exports
Exports
Imports
Imports
Goods and services
2011
2012
Trend
growth
2007–2012
2011
2012
Trend
growth
2007–2012
$m
$m
%
$m
$m
%
India
17,392
14,005
3.8
2,957
3,448
9.9
Bangladesh (b)
579
490
23.4
244
375
57.1
Pakistan (b)
414
695
6.9
173
183
2.9
Other South Asia (b) (c)
285
252
3.8
123
135
5.9
Total South Asia
18,670
15,442
4.3
3,497
4,141
11.1
United Arab Emirates (b)
2,244
2,086
-9.8
4,133
3,044
10.6
Saudi Arabia (b)
1,531
1,734
-5.9
387
479
-17.3
Kuwait (b)
613
514
1.4
428
463
5.7
Oman (b)
418
458
-0.5
62
23
47.6
Qatar (b)
407
498
24.0
463
647
17.0
Bahrain (b) (d)
165
152
1.9
108
68
-16.7
Total GCC (b)
5,380
5,443
-5.1
5,582
4,723
5.2

(a) Goods data on a recorded trade basis, services data on a balance of payments basis.

(b) Goods data only. Services data is not published by the ABS for these countries.

(c) Other South Asia comprises Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

(d) Excludes exports of alumina (aluminium oxide) to Bahrain which are confidential in ABS trade statistics.

Based on DFAT STARS database and ABS catalogue 5368.0.55.004.

Staff Profile

Claire Rochecouste

Since joining the department as a policy graduate in 2005, I have worked in various positions in Canberra and had two postings abroad, first to Buenos Aires (2008–10) and more recently to Kabul (2012–13).

Claire Rochecouste on a hill overlooking Kabul, near the Australian Embassy, August 2012. The tank is probably ex-Soviet – one of the many remnants of war still visible in Afghanistan. Other remnants include landmines and Australia supports a range of demining activities and mine risk education programs, working with the UN Mine Action Service and the Afghan Department of Mine Clearance. [DFAT]

Claire Rochecouste on a hill overlooking Kabul, near the Australian Embassy, August 2012. The tank is probably ex-Soviet – one of the many remnants of war still visible in Afghanistan. Other remnants include landmines and Australia supports a range of demining activities and mine risk education programs, working with the UN Mine Action Service and the Afghan Department of Mine Clearance. [DFAT]

Based in the Australian Embassy in Kabul, I covered human rights issues, working with the Afghan Government and international community to develop national institutions and legal frameworks that deliver access to rights and protection from violence—particularly for woman and girls. It was incredibly challenging and varied work. In a typical week, I would meet senior officials, the Human Rights Commission, local gender rights activists, UN agencies and coalition military leaders, ensuring the embassy's activities were coordinated with Afghan and international partners.

It was very rewarding to support the Australian government's commitment to international efforts to stabilise Afghanistan, working closely with AusAID and the Australian Defence Force. Travelling across the breathtaking landscape of Afghanistan to work in provinces like Uruzgan, Helmand and Parwan was a truly memorable experience.

I met so many Afghan women and men across government and civil society who, despite significant challenges, maintain a positive vision for their country's future and continue working to promote peace, security and economic and social development.

Afghanistan

The department led Australia's whole-of-government effort in advancing security, economic and political transition in Afghanistan.

In July 2012, the department supported Senator Carr's participation in the Tokyo meeting of aid donors to Afghanistan. The meeting agreed on aid contributions by the international community and commitments by the Afghan Government to improve governance and economic and social development.

We contributed to planning for Australia's military and civilian drawdown in Uruzgan province by the end of 2013 and participation in the new, non-combat, NATO-led mission following the conclusion of the International Security Assistance Force mission at the end of 2014.

Through the Australian embassy in Kabul and the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Tarin Kowt, we coordinated civilian efforts to promote development, peace initiatives and preparations for elections in 2014. The department worked with Defence on Australia's detainee monitoring efforts.

Australia played a leading role on Afghanistan in the UN Security Council (UNSC), including on the renewal of the mandate for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in March 2013. The department also managed Australia's role as chair of the council's Taliban Sanctions Committee from January 2013.

The department coordinated a number of high-level visits to and from Afghanistan, including the first visit by an Australian parliamentary delegation to Kabul from 28 April to 1 May 2013.

We supported the Afghanistan, Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul exhibition, which Foreign Minister Rassoul opened in Melbourne in March 2013. By the end of June 2013 around 50 000 people had seen the exhibition, which helped to build cultural links.

Pakistan

Australia's engagement with Pakistan focused on development, economic reform and security issues.

The department facilitated high-level bilateral contact, including at the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister level.

Ahead of the Pakistan elections in May 2013, the department supported AusAID's assistance to the Electoral Commission of Pakistan and the Commonwealth's observation mission. The elections involved the highest ever number of women and new voters, and more than 50 million voters in total.

The Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Deputy Secretary Paul Grigson, visited Islamabad in June 2013 for bilateral talks and co-chaired the 4th Australia–Pakistan Joint Trade Committee. The Committee explored new opportunities to further strengthen trade relations, with bilateral trade increasing to $879 million in 2012.

Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan

The department advanced Australia's relationship with Sri Lanka, strengthening cooperation on people smuggling, engaging constructively to promote human rights and democratic governance, assisting education and other development efforts and promoting increased trade and investment.

High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Robyn Mudie, meeting with beneficiaries of a Direct Aid Project that works to achieve inclusiveness for differently-abled children in Galle, southern Sri Lanka, 16 December 2012. [Australian High Commission Colombo]

High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Robyn Mudie, meeting with beneficiaries of a Direct Aid Project that works to achieve inclusiveness for differently-abled children in Galle, southern Sri Lanka, 16 December 2012. [Australian High Commission Colombo]

 

We supported Senator Carr's visit to Sri Lanka in December 2012 when he opened the inaugural Joint Working Group on People Smuggling and Transnational Crime. In June 2013, we assisted with the visit to Australia of the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Professor Peiris, which further strengthened bilateral cooperation.

The department engaged with Bangladesh on a range of bilateral and multilateral issues, including through Bangladesh's role as Chair of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG). We helped to manage Australia's expanding development assistance program in Bangladesh, including to improve disaster risk management.

The department encouraged the return of Maldives to a stable democratic process through Senator Carr's participation in CMAG and support for the Commonwealth good offices' role.

The department maintained Australia's longstanding relations with Nepal. We supported then Parliamentary Secretary Marles' visit in August 2012, during which he encouraged a peaceful and democratic pathway towards elections and highlighted Australia's expanding role in assisting Nepal's development.

Development assistance remained central to the relationship with Bhutan, including through scholarships and school feeding projects with the World Food Programme. The department supported a visit by members of Bhutan's Supreme Court to Australia in March 2013.

Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation

The department continued its role in promoting cooperation and greater economic integration among Indian Ocean countries through the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC). In Australia's role as vice-chair, we promoted further collaboration in the priority areas of maritime security and safety, oceans and fisheries management, trade facilitation and disaster risk reduction.

We supported Mr Marles' participation in the annual IOR-ARC ministerial meeting in India in November 2012 and his announcement of several Australian capacity-building initiatives to strengthen cooperation on ocean sustainability.

Central Asia

Australia continued to build its engagement with Central Asia—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan—focusing on our shared interests in mining and international cooperation in Afghanistan. The department facilitated the participation of vice-ministers from Tajikistan and Kazakhstan in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Global Conference held in Sydney in May 2013.

Middle East and North Africa

The department helped position Australia as a credible, engaged player in the Middle East and North Africa during a period of significant transition in the region.

The department supported Senator Carr's visit to Egypt in September 2012, including his meeting with President Morsi. The visit reconfirmed Australia's support for a democratic and inclusive transition in Egypt.

The department led Australia's response to the unfolding crisis in Syria, including advocacy of Senator Carr's plan to protect medical workers and facilities and enable access to medical care. The department worked with AusAID on the expansion of Australia's humanitarian assistance to Syria to a total of $78.5 million.

We supported Senator Carr's participation in ministerial meetings on Syria, including in Paris in July 2012 for the Friends of the Syrian People, and in Luxembourg in April 2013. We used Australia's non-permanent seat in the UNSC to press for council engagement on Syria. We implemented robust autonomous sanctions measures against the Assad regime and co-chaired the 6th meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People Working Group on Sanctions in Bulgaria in February 2013.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Carr (right), and Ambassador to Egypt, Dr Ralph King, speaking with senior members of the Coptic Church about the large number of Egyptian Coptic Christians living in Australia, Cairo, September 2012. [DFAT/Roger Anis]

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Carr (right), and Ambassador to Egypt, Dr Ralph King, speaking with senior members of the Coptic Church about the large number of Egyptian Coptic Christians living in Australia, Cairo, September 2012. [DFAT/Roger Anis]

 

The department coordinated Senator Carr's visit to Jordan in August 2012 and his visit to Lebanonin May 2013, the latter the first by an Australian foreign minister since 2001. Both visits focused on the regional impact of the Syria crisis.

We reinforced Australia's strong position on a negotiated two-state solution between Israeland the alestinian Territories, including through: support for Senator Carr's August 2012 visit to Israel and the West Bank; our contribution to Middle East consultations in the Security Council; and engagement with AusAID in providing targeted budget support for Palestinian institution-building. The department, together with AusAID, represented Australia at Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meetings, to coordinate international donor policy on development assistance to the Palestinian people.

In line with Australia's opposition to Iran's nuclear program, the department supported efforts to encourage Iran to comply with relevant UNSC resolutions and cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency. As chair of the Iran Sanctions Committee in the Security Council, we worked to improve effectiveness of UN sanctions measures. The department implemented additional Australian autonomous sanctions in August 2012. Australia announced further sanctions in January 2013.

The department also coordinated Australia's advocacy on human rights in Iran, including through bilateral representations, the UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly. The department supported continued dialogue with Iran on issues of mutual concern including Afghanistan, people smuggling and counter-narcotics.

The department worked to ensure Australia's links with the Gulf States continued to prosper. We managed a number of high-level visits to the region, including the first state visit by an Australian Governor-General to Oman in September 2012. Senator Carr undertook the first official visit to Qatar by an Australian foreign minister in May 2013.

The department helped to build Australia's strategic and economic engagement with the United Arab Emirates(UAE). We supported Senator Carr's visit in July 2012, during which he signed a bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement. In May 2013, Senator Carr held inaugural annual talks with the UAE Foreign Minister and signed a memorandum of understanding establishing a Joint Committee for Cooperation.

The department focused on increasing commercial engagement with Saudi Arabia. We coordinated the 9th Saudi–Australian Joint Ministerial Commission, co-chaired by Dr Emerson and the Saudi Agriculture Minister. The meeting, which included significant Saudi business representation, strengthened commercial ties in agriculture, education and energy and resources and inaugurated a Saudi–Australian Joint Business Council.

The department consolidated relations with Iraq through annual bilateral senior officials' talks in Canberra in November 2012. Australia remains active in the Friends of Yemen process and in the UNSC to support political transition and stability.

We advanced relations with Morocco, including through assistance with the first official visit to Australia by a Moroccan foreign minister in June 2013 and reciprocal parliamentary exchanges.

Senator Carr hosted the second GCC-Australia Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue in New York in September 2012. Australia and the GCC agreed in June 2013 on a joint action plan to guide our political, strategic and trade cooperation.

Staff Profile

Amani and Heba Shenouda

Amani Shenouda joined the Australian embassy in Cairo in 1984. Her sister, Heba, joined in 1989. Both have since become indispensable members of the embassy team, and an inspiration to other locally engaged staff.

As Consular Manager, Amani handles consular and passport issues in Egypt and Cairo's other countries of accreditation. She has managed complex and high-profile consular cases and emergencies, such as the 2006 Egypt bus crash, Amani and Heba Shenoudaand the 2011 Egyptian revolution. Amani's work was an integral part of the embassy's receipt, in 2011, of two Citations and a Silver Medallion in recognition of its outstanding service. Her contribution was noted by colleagues and by the Foreign Minister. 'It is very satisfying to assist people in times of need', Amani said.

Heba Shenouda is Executive Assistant to the Ambassador, having started at the embassy as a receptionist. She provides administrative support to the head of mission and the political team, including arranging programs, appointments, travel bookings and official correspondence. She has a talent for securing meetings with even the most elusive high-level contacts. Heba has also been invaluable in organising and managing several ministerial visits. During the 2011 crisis, Heba provided invaluable support to the embassy team, after-hours and in critical situations. 'I love what I do', said Heba, 'and this is the key to my success'.

Outlook

The department will focus on Australia's strategic partnership with India. We will launch and implement the India Country Strategy commissioned by the government in the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper. We will work to deepen our political and strategic dialogue and expand trade and investment flows.

We will lead whole-of-government efforts through the transition in Afghanistan, with an emphasis on support for the completion of Australia's mission in Uruzgan province by the end of 2013. Renewal of the UNSC mandate for the International Security Assistance Force for the final stage of transition will be a priority.

We will support Australia's role as chair of the IOR-ARC from November 2013 and work with India, Indonesia and other members to build greater regional cooperation.

The department will add further depth to our relations with the Middle East and North Africa, supporting high-level visits, increased trade and investment, and closer education, business and people-to-people links, including through the Council for Australian–Arab Relations (see 1.1.13).

1.1.6 Pacific

Overview

Australia is the Pacific's major economic and security partner and its largest aid donor. Our interests are served by stability and economic growth in the neighbourhood and we are often judged domestically and internationally by our effectiveness in helping the region to grow opportunities and address major challenges.

The department used numerous high-level visits to advance Australia's key interests in the region. These visits included the Governor-General, Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Trade, Minister for Defence, Parliamentary Secretaries for Pacific Island Affairs, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Parliamentary Secretary for Defence and the Global Ambassador for Women and Girls.

The department sought to shape the Pacific regional cooperation agenda, notably through its engagement with the review of the Pacific Plan that outlines regional priorities. Advancing regional economic integration was a continuing priority. We led Australia's participation in the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus negotiations, which have expanded and intensified, and assisted with the implementation of the Seasonal Worker Program.

We worked closely with regional countries in support of the 2012 Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' Meeting in Rarotonga, Cook Islands. Australia's initiatives contributing to the empowerment of women in the Pacific were widely endorsed.

The department contributed to further progress in implementing the economic integration agenda with New Zealand. Trade ministers met in Canberra in November 2012 for the annual Australia–New Zealand Closer Economic Relations (CER) Ministerial Forum.

Following national elections in Papua New Guinea, the department led Australia's intensive engagement to provide a framework for our modern and dynamic partnership. The department drove Australia's regional and international efforts to encourage credible elections and a return to democracy in Fiji in 2014. We coordinated the further drawdown of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

Regional engagement

The department supported the participation of the Prime Minister and then Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Marles in the August 2012 Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' Meeting in Rarotonga. We also assisted the participation of Mr Marles in the Post-Forum Dialogue and a trilateral meeting involving the New Zealand Foreign Minister and the US Secretary of State. Key features of the leaders' meeting were the Prime Minister's announcement of significant new financial assistance to improve women's empowerment and the adoption of the Pacific Leaders' Gender Equality Declaration.

The department engaged with the Pacific Plan Review team to ensure the plan better reflected its original intent—namely, a high-level political document outlining the aspirations guiding regionalism in the Pacific and providing a framework for regional cooperation and integration.

Working closely with other departments and participating Pacific countries, the department supported the implementation of the Seasonal Worker Program from 1 July 2012, following a successful pilot phase. The program assists the economic development of participating countries, while offering Australian employers in the horticultural sector and four trial sectors access to workers from eight Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste. Over 1 400 Pacific workers have participated in the program since 1 July 2012.

Pacific Islands Forum leaders reinforced the importance of increased engagement to advance the PACER Plus negotiations. Consistent with the guidance provided by the forum's leaders and trade ministers, the department led whole-of-government efforts and worked with other forum officials to make significant progress on the agreed priority issues, including rules of origin, customs procedures, and technical barriers to trade. We also had productive discussions on developing a roadmap to guide PACER Plus negotiations in relation to new areas, such as services and investment.

Pacific Islands Forum leaders also supported continued efforts to promote the effective management and protection of the region's fisheries. The department worked with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to conclude negotiations on a regional treaty to strengthen maritime surveillance and other mechanisms to protect and develop Pacific fisheries, known as the Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement. This treaty was adopted by Pacific Islands Forum members and opened for signature on 2 November 2012.

New Zealand

The department contributed to further progress in bilateral economic integration with New Zealand. Trade ministers met in Canberra in November 2012 at the annual CER Ministerial Forum to review progress towards the goal of a seamless trans-Tasman market.

The department also assisted with the implementation of outcomes announced at the 2013 Leaders' Meeting, to mark the 30th anniversary of the Australia–New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement. Initiatives completed to date include entry into force on 1 March 2013 of the Investment Protocol, which will reduce compliance costs and provide greater legal certainty for trans-Tasman investors; the signing in April 2013 of an arrangement establishing a single trans-Tasman regulatory regime for patent attorneys; and new retirement savings portability arrangements to come into effect on 1 July 2013.

The department worked with other agencies on an agreement with New Zealand to address high trans-Tasman mobile roaming charges, and to explore the possible implementation of a reciprocal student debt recovery scheme. The department contributed to work on an Australian and New Zealand government response in 2014 to the Productivity Commissions' joint study into options to boost productivity, increase competitiveness and deepen economic integration between the two countries, with an emphasis on measures that would deliver net trans-Tasman benefits.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and then Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles, join local school children at the official opening of the Pacific Islands Forum, Rarotonga, Cook Islands, 28 August 2012. [DFAT]

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and then Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles, join local school children at the official opening of the Pacific Islands Forum, Rarotonga, Cook Islands, 28 August 2012. [DFAT]

 

Figure 13: Australia's trade in goods and services with New Zealand (a)

Exports, in 2007 A$13,060m, in 2008 A$12,896m, in 2009 A$11,153m, in 2010 A$11,270m, in 2011 A$11,012m, in 2012 A$11,070m. Imports, in 2007 A$8,658m, in 2008 A$10,376m, in 2009 A$9,441m, in 2010 A$9,919m, in 2011 A$10,540m, in 2012 A$10,168m. Balance, in 2007 A$4,402m, in 2008 A$2,520m, in 2009 A$1,712m, in 2010 A$1,351m, in 2011 A$472m, in 2012 A$902m.

(a) Goods data on a recorded trade basis, services data on a balance of payments basis.

Based on DFAT STARS database and ABS catalogue 5368.0.55.004.

 

Papua New Guinea

The department led Australia's extensive engagement with Papua New Guinea. We supported Papua New Guinea in its efforts to hold elections on time and in line with its constitution in July 2012, following a period of political instability.

The department coordinated the bilateral ministerial forum involving five Australian ministers in Port Moresby in December 2012. Key forum outcomes included the conclusion of negotiations on an Economic Cooperation Treaty, further assistance for the establishment of the PNG Sovereign Wealth Fund, endorsement of the reshaping of the aid program to align with PNG priorities and commitment to streamline visa processes for PNG nationals travelling to Australia. The department also promoted strengthened cooperation on people smuggling, including through the government's establishment of a regional processing centre on Manus Island.

We facilitated a range of leader-level and ministerial visits to and from Papua New Guinea to cement bilateral ties and strengthen engagement with key figures in the new government. During her visit in May 2013, Prime Minister Gillard signed with Prime Minister O'Neill the Joint Declaration for a New Papua New Guinea–Australia Partnership, to provide a framework for our contemporary relationship. The Governor-General's visit in April 2013 highlighted our commitment to improving rights for women in Papua New Guinea and underscored the strong people-to-people links.

Assistant Policy Adviser, Office of the Special Coordinator, RAMSI, Katie Hamilton (sitting), discussing the mission's transition with women at the Obo Obo Community, Gold Ridge area, Solomon Islands, 27 January 2013. [DFAT/Johnson Honimae]

Assistant Policy Adviser, Office of the Special Coordinator, RAMSI, Katie Hamilton (sitting), discussing the mission's transition with women at the Obo Obo Community, Gold Ridge area, Solomon Islands, 27 January 2013. [DFAT/Johnson Honimae]

 

The department continued to raise awareness and build understanding of Papua New Guinea in Australia. In February 2013, we organised the second annual PNG Independence Day Oration by former PNG member of parliament, Dame Carol Kidu, at Parliament House and hosted the inaugural PNG Roundtable in Geelong in April 2013, bringing together leaders from community, business, media and academic sectors. An advocacy visit by representatives of the Australian media in June 2013 provided insights for the journalists into contemporary Papua New Guinea.

Solomon Islands

Several high-level bilateral visits supported by the department strengthened cooperation with Solomon Islands in a number of areas, notably security and stability. In August 2012, Foreign Minister Carr's visit helped consolidate bilateral relations, while Defence Parliamentary Secretary David Feeney took forward discussions on the withdrawal of RAMSI's military component. The previous month Parliamentary Secretary Marles led Australia's largest ever Indigenous delegation to the Festival of Pacific Arts.

Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Senator Thistlethwaite, participated in the May 2013 Pacific Islands Forum Ministerial Standing Committee Meeting and helped shape a number of important decisions on the next phase of the RAMSI drawdown.

The department advanced bilateral relations by contributing to Prime Minister Lilo's guest-of-government visit to Australia in August 2012. We also facilitated Mr Lilo's participation in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Global Conference in May 2013, at which he committed to improving regulatory transparency in Solomon Islands' burgeoning mining sector.

Fiji

The department led Australia's efforts to encourage Fiji's return to democracy and played a central coordinating role working with New Zealand and Australia's other regional and international partners to this end. The Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' Meeting in August 2012 noted the progress towards elections set down for September 2014 and reiterated the forum's intention to remain engaged with Fiji. The department supported Senator Carr's participation in Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group meetings in September 2012 and April 2013, which reiterated the Commonwealth's commitment to Fiji's reinstatement as a full member upon restoration of democracy and the fundamental values of the Commonwealth.

The department supported Senator Thistlethwaite's participation in a Pacific Islands Forum Ministerial Contact Group visit to Fiji in April 2013. The group saw some progress but expressed concerns about departures from Fiji's previously declared roadmap. The department continued to coordinate Australia's election-related assistance with international partners in the lead-up to Fiji's planned elections in 2014.

Australia's statements in the UN Human Rights Council and the International Labour Organization (ILO) emphasised our ongoing concern about the economic, social and human rights situation in Fiji. We worked closely with the ILO to encourage Fiji to allow an ILO 'direct contacts' mission to assess the current situation.

Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Senator Thistlethwaite, meeting with Secretary General Pacific Islands Forum, Neroni Slade, Suva, 11 April 2013. [DFAT]

Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Senator Thistlethwaite, meeting with Secretary General Pacific Islands Forum, Neroni Slade, Suva, 11 April 2013. [DFAT]

 

Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa, Nauru

The department supported a visit by Senator Carr to Vanuatu in February 2013 that reaffirmed the close bilateral ties and increased cooperation on development assistance issues. The department also worked with other agencies to achieve the resumption of the Australian Federal Police's capacity building program with the Vanuatu Police in April 2013.

We assisted with a visit to Australia by the Prime Minister of Tonga, Lord Tu'ivakano, in November 2012 that advanced bilateral cooperation on superannuation policy and Seasonal Worker Program issues.

In February 2013, the department supported a visit to Samoa by Senator Carr, who saw firsthand Australian assistance in the recovery efforts after Cyclone Evan which devastated parts of Samoa in late December 2012. We led Australia's delegation at the second annual security partnership talks with Samoa in May 2013 which focussed on emergency cooperation.

Issues surrounding the planned regional processing centre were a focus of our bilateral relations with Nauru. We played an important role in supporting other departments to establish and operate the centre.

Other countries and entities

The department advanced bilateral relations with other Pacific countries and entities by assisting with a parliamentary delegation visit led by Mr Marles to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and New Caledonia in December 2012. We hosted a visit by Federated States of Micronesia Congressman, Senator David Panuelo, as part of our increased engagement with the North Pacific.

The department also supported visits by Senator Carr to Kiribati in February 2013, and Mr Marles to Kiribati and Tuvalu in July 2012. The department led bilateral security partnership talks with Kiribati in November 2012. These visits reinforced Australia's strong relationships with Pacific micro-states.

We led the Australian government delegation participating in annual discussions with New Caledonia in March 2013 that advanced bilateral cooperation in a number of areas, including on environment and air services issues.

Australian officials take a whole-of-government approach in security partnership talks with Samoa's Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet CEO, Vaosa Epa (back to camera). (Left to right, facing): AFP agent, Steve Jakiwczyk; High Commissioner to Samoa, Stephen Henningham; Delegation Leader, Tony Huber; and Defence representative, Captain Stephanie Moles RAN, Apia, 22 May 2013. [Australian High Commission Apia]

Australian officials take a whole-of-government approach in security partnership talks with Samoa's Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet CEO, Vaosa Epa (back to camera). (Left to right, facing): AFP agent, Steve Jakiwczyk; High Commissioner to Samoa, Stephen Henningham; Delegation Leader, Tony Huber; and Defence representative, Captain Stephanie Moles RAN, Apia, 22 May 2013. [Australian High Commission Apia]

 

High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Jeremy Bruer, enjoying a customary coconut drink with the President of Vanuatu, Iolu Johnson Abbil, following the presentation of his credentials, Port Vila, November 2012. [Australian High Commission Port Vila]

High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Jeremy Bruer, enjoying a customary coconut drink with the President of Vanuatu, Iolu Johnson Abbil, following the presentation of his credentials, Port Vila, November 2012. [Australian High Commission Port Vila]

 

Outlook

In response to enduring and fundamental challenges in the Pacific, the department will continue to support the region's stability, security and prosperity. A regional priority will be ensuring the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' Meeting in Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands, in September 2013, delivers substantive outcomes, particularly on the review of the Pacific Plan.

The department will lead Australia's engagement with Papua New Guinea, including through helping the country take steps to combat corruption, deliver economic development, implement accountable and transparent management of natural resources and improve service delivery to the people.

The department will continue to coordinate with New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, other regional partners and the international community to encourage Fiji to hold credible elections in 2014.

In Solomon Islands, we will steer the continuing drawdown of RAMSI. Australian development assistance, previously provided through RAMSI, will be provided directly to the Solomon Islands' Government from 1 July 2013. RAMSI's military component, including Australian personnel, is set to withdraw by September 2013. Australia's support for security in Solomon Islands will continue through its leadership of the RAMSI Participating Police Force.

The department will play a role in expanding and intensifying the PACER Plus negotiations and continue work to enhance the Seasonal Worker Program. The department will also support efforts to ensure the sustainable exploitation of the region's fisheries resources for the benefit of the Pacific Islands peoples, by seeking to finalise the renegotiation of the US Tuna Treaty and implement the Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement.

Advancing gender equality

The department's work to promote gender equality remained a priority in 2012–13. International, regional and bilateral advocacy by the Global Ambassador for Women and Girls continued to be a key element of Australia's profile as an active proponent of women's empowerment.

Women, Peace and Security

The women, peace and security agenda was an ongoing focus for Australia. As a member of the UN Security Council (UNSC), we worked to address gender dimensions of conflict across the UNSC's work. We defended and strengthened gender-related language in resolutions mandating peacekeeping and peace-building operations, including in African countries and Afghanistan. In relation to Mali and Somalia, we successfully advocated for specific language to promote women's participation and for the deployment of Women's Protection Advisors.

In the UNSC, we participated in open debates on women, peace and security and sexual violence in conflict; co-hosted a UNSC-civil society meeting on the work of gender practitioners in peacekeeping operations; and supported the adoption of UNSC Resolution 2106, which sets out a framework for the international community to address sexual violence in conflict. We also supported the UK's Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative which aims to end impunity for perpetrators of such crimes. As a co-author of the Arms Trade Treaty, Australia coordinated with other parties the inclusion of specific language on the risk of arms being used to perpetrate gender-based violence.

In March 2013, the department hosted the Australia-OSCE Conference on Improving the Security of Women and Girls, in Adelaide, and arranged the participation of the Afghan Deputy Minister for Women's Affairs.

Multilateral and regional advocacy

The department engaged across government and civil society in multilateral and regional gender policy conferences. We contributed to the successful negotiation of strong agreed conclusions on addressing violence against women at the UN's 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in March 2013. As well as supporting the attendance by delegates from Laos, the department supported Australia's co-hosting of 12 side events promoting discussion on women's empowerment issues.

Australia co-sponsored, and was a strong advocate for, resolutions on women's rights in the UN Third Committee and in the Human Rights Council. Key areas of focus were the elimination of violence against women, addressing trafficking in women and girls, ending obstetric fistula and a landmark UN General Assembly resolution on eliminating female genital mutilation (FGM).

The department supported the Minister for the Status of Women's visit to the Commonwealth's 10th Women's Affairs Ministers Meeting in Bangladesh and the participation by the Global Ambassador for Women and Girls in the inaugural ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Women (Laos, October 2012), the 5th East Asia Ministerial Meeting on Gender Equality (Beijing, May 2013) and the US–Cambodia Lower Mekong Initiative Gender Policy Dialogue (Siem Reap, July 2012), strengthening Australia's regional cooperation on gender issues.

At the Pacific Islands Forum in the Cook Islands in August 2012, the department contributed to the development of the Pacific Leaders' Gender Equality Declaration adopted at the forum and to which the Prime Minister committed a 10-year, $320 million Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development Initiative.

The department continued its engagement with the US-led Equal Futures Partnership to promote economic and leadership opportunities for women, maintaining its gender balance target of over 40 per cent women on its government boards with 41 per cent at 30 June 2013.

Bilateral advocacy

The department extended its bilateral engagement on gender issues in the Asia–Pacific region through a program of high-level visits. The Global Ambassador for Women and Girls visited 12 countries expanding Australia's partnerships with governments and civil society to promote gender equality and advance cooperation on the Prime Minister's Pacific development initiative. A visit to Trinidad and Tobago focussed on women's leadership and one to Thailand addressed women's access to justice, women's political participation, and cooperation on women, peace and security.

The department sustained advocacy on gender issues by supporting visits by the Prime Minister and Governor-General to Papua New Guinea; the Governor-General to Brunei Darussalam and the Republic of Korea; the Speaker of the House of Representatives to Singapore; senior Australian businesswomen to attend the Malaysian Global Summit of Women, and a visit by PNG parliamentarian, Governor Julie Soso Akeke, to Australia.

In Afghanistan, we continued our work on promoting women's rights and also supported visits to Australia by Afghan women parliamentarians, civil society activists and senior officials. We advocated for the implementation of laws on eliminating violence against women and made regular representations on women's rights to the Afghan Government.

National initiatives

The department contributed to whole-of-government efforts to address FGM, presenting at the National Summit hosted by the Department of Health and Ageing in April 2013 and contributing to the summit's National Communiqué on FGM. We enhanced our policies and training for management of consular cases involving forced marriage and FGM, and we improved public information resources and services to provide more targeted support to those affected.

Outreach

In Australia and overseas, the department actively supported campaigns such as International Women's Day, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the inaugural International Day of the Girl Child. The Global Ambassador for Women and Girls visited Solomon Islands for White Ribbon Day, promoting local programs to end violence against women and girls. Associated media and the ambassador's opinion-editorial on the day received strong coverage in the Pacific. As White Ribbon ambassadors, our male heads of mission in the Pacific continued to emphasise the role of men in eliminating violence against women.

Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, Penny Williams (centre), with the Solomon Islands Women in Business Association at the White Ribbon Day march, Honiara, 27 November 2012. [DFAT]

Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, Penny Williams (centre), with the Solomon Islands Women in Business Association at the White Ribbon Day march, Honiara, 27 November 2012. [DFAT]

 

In 2012–13, the department increased the representation of women in its international media visits scheme and used the scheme to showcase Australia's programs to promote women's rights. A gender-focussed visit for women journalists from the Asia–Pacific in March 2013, coincided with the passage of Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace legislation.

During the reporting period, the department funded around 330 direct aid projects (DAP) that supported gender equality (to a combined value of $4.9 million of the total DAP budget of $8.94 million). Protection from, and prevention of, violence against women and girls was a focus, including in Mauritius, Belgrade and Kosovo. We funded projects to support women's economic empowerment in Africa and South America and women's farming projects in Argentina, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Vanuatu. We supported women's political empowerment through projects in Pakistan and through the Fund for African Women.

Maternal health was a priority under the Australia–Africa Community Grants Scheme. In Abu Dhabi, Ramallah and Vietnam, we ran programs to promote the equal participation of women in sports. The South East Asia Regional Discretionary Fund supported gender equality programs in Laos. The department funded Myanmar's participation in the National Human Rights Institutions' International Conference on Women's and Girls' Human Rights.

We continued to encourage strong engagement on gender issues through the International Relations Grants Program administered by foundations, councils and institutes. The Council for Australian–Arab Relations supported an Australian Arab Women's Dialogue in March 2013, bringing women from eight Middle East and North African countries to Australia, to highlight the role played by women in democratic movements in the Arab world.

1.1.7 Bilateral, regional and multilateral trade negotiations

Overview

The department supported the government's strong commitment to advancing global trade reform and liberalisation for the benefit of Australian business. We worked through multilateral, plurilateral, regional and bilateral channels, to open new markets, consolidate access to existing markets and facilitate more efficient and transparent trading practices both within and between countries.

Delivering on the government's active bilateral and regional trade agreement strategy was a core priority across 10 of the department's 14 divisions. Australia's seventh free trade agreement (FTA), the Malaysia–Australia Free Trade Agreement, entered into force during the year. We commenced Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations, involving ASEAN and its six FTA partners, and commenced bilateral negotiations with Indonesia. We also continued to progress negotiation of two other regional agreements (the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and Pacific Island Forum's PACER Plus) and on bilateral agreements with four of Australia's largest trading partners—China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and India.

Through the various institutional mechanisms of the World Trade Organization (WTO), including the committees, we worked to strengthen the organisation as the centre of the rules-based trading system. The aim was to ensure the WTO continues to uphold the existing rules for multilateral trade, as well as advance trade reform and liberalisation.

We promoted the government's efforts to conclude the Doha Round of multilateral negotiations, focusing on manageable elements. We played a key role in preparing a package of outcomes for the December 2013 9th WTO Ministerial Conference. The department steered discussions on a Trade in Services Agreement, played a central role in shaping possible outcomes in negotiations for agricultural trade liberalisation, worked towards conclusion of a WTO trade facilitation agreement and helped progress a number of negotiations on trade-related environmental and intellectual property issues.

We led Australia's participation in the WTO dispute settlement process, most notably in defending Australia's tobacco plain packaging measure. We actively promoted the government's trade objectives through the work programs of the G20, APEC and the OECD.

Multilateral trade liberalisation and the WTO Doha Round negotiations

The overarching focus of negotiation work in the WTO throughout 2012–13 was preparation of a package of outcomes for the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC9), to be held in Bali, in December 2013. At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2013, key trade ministers decided the MC9 package should include an agreement on trade facilitation, some initiatives on agriculture and a package of measures to assist least developed countries. The department's sustained advocacy efforts, including through the Cairns Group, helped secure a central position for agriculture in the MC9 agenda.

The proposed package of outcomes for MC9 was directly inspired by the 'new pathways' approach pioneered by Australia in 2011–2012. Motivating the approach is a desire to conclude the Doha Round by focusing initially on a sub-set of issues most likely to achieve agreement by consensus in the immediate to near term. Progress through this approach would help to inject confidence and momentum into the broader WTO negotiations.

The department pursued a multifaceted strategy to build support of other WTO members for a realistic and credible MC9 package. In October 2012, we facilitated a visit to Geneva by the Trade Minister along with then president of the National Farmers' Federation, Jock Laurie, to emphasise the importance of multilateral agriculture trade reform for the Australian agriculture industry. The department co-chaired with China a senior officials' meeting of WTO members in Geneva in April 2013, providing an opportunity for the members to identify specific areas of flexibility on the MC9 negotiating text. We also facilitated an informal gathering of 33 trade ministers and officials, chaired by Dr Emerson, in the margins of the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting in Paris in May 2013. The senior officials' meeting and the informal gathering of ministers and officials were regarded by WTO members as pivotal in providing high-level direction to the negotiations and in crystallising potential outcomes.

Ambassador to the WTO, Tim Yeend (right), with Director-General WTO, Pascal Lamy, at an Australian-hosted function to welcome non-resident delegations to 'Geneva week', organised annually by the WTO to inform these member countries and observers about recent developments taking place at the WTO, July 2012. [Australian Permanent Mission to the WTO Geneva]

Ambassador to the WTO, Tim Yeend (right), with Director-General WTO, Pascal Lamy, at an Australian-hosted function to welcome non-resident delegations to 'Geneva week', organised annually by the WTO to inform these member countries and observers about recent developments taking place at the WTO, July 2012. [Australian Permanent Mission to the WTO Geneva]

Through the Doha Round agriculture negotiations the department advocated a deeper understanding of the role of trade and trade reform in strengthening global food security and reducing food price volatility. We highlighted the risks, particularly for developing countries, of food self-sufficiency as the sole strategy to achieve food security. We continued our long-standing tradition of close engagement with other Cairns Group members and worked with food importing countries to highlight concerns about the impacts of export restrictions and other government policy interventions, which have exacerbated global food and agricultural market volatility. The department also promoted stronger aid and trade policy coherence on food aid issues and worked with Russia towards implementation of its WTO accession commitments.

Services represent a significant proportion of Australia's total economic and trade output, accounting for over 70 per cent of GDP and over 18 per cent of total trade in goods and services. Given the potential benefits for the Australian economy of expanded growth in global services trade, the department actively pursued an international Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) throughout 2012–13. A framework for the negotiations which draws on the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services, as well as on regional and bilateral trade agreements, was finalised in December 2012. To date, 23 developed and developing economy WTO members, representing around two-thirds of global trade in services, have signed up to the negotiations. Additional participants are expected over time.

The department played a central role in the TiSA negotiations, leading discussions in Geneva with the United States and the European Union. We undertook extensive consultations with state and territory governments and public consultations with industry and community representatives to ensure development of a comprehensive Australian negotiating strategy.

The department was at the forefront of efforts to conclude a global agreement on trade facilitation. Such an agreement would boost the WTO and global trading system; modernise customs clearance procedures, particularly for perishable products; encourage greater cooperation between customs agencies; and deliver a possible increase in global GDP of $67 billion.

Australia provided $400 000 to support updated needs assessments for 12 developing countries designed to identify the assistance they would require to implement a trade facilitation agreement. The assessments helped highlight the substantial benefits and the relatively low cost of implementation of an agreement and prompted greater developing country participation in the negotiations.

The department continued to play an active role to expand the Information Technology Agreement (ITA). The negotiations have focused to date on expanding the product coverage of the ITA to eliminate tariffs on new IT products. An expanded ITA will lead to lower costs, increased access to technology and enhanced market access opportunities for Australian industry.

The department used the various institutional mechanisms available in the WTO to advocate the interests of Australian exporters and address barriers to trade and unfair trade practices. Through the WTO committee system, the department raised specific bilateral trade concerns.

Through the transparency function of each WTO committee, we monitored the trade practices of other members to ensure consistency with WTO rules and to protect the interests of Australian exporters. Through the WTO Committee on Agriculture, for example, the department confronted the United States and the European Union on their respective production and trade-distorting farm subsidy programs. The department also used the committee to seek the EU's full compliance with its WTO export subsidy commitments on sugar. These efforts were part of a broader government strategy to encourage genuinely liberalising reforms to both the US Farm Bill and the EU Common Agricultural Policy.

We also used WTO committees as forums to discuss implementation and interpretation of existing WTO rules to ensure the protection of trade liberalisation gains.

Using the WTO setting we achieved bilateral market access gains. For example, we successfully petitioned to remove barriers preventing an Australian motorised wheelchair manufacturer from accessing a key export market. We also secured access for Australian pork, goat and sheepmeat to India and improved access for vacuum-packaged meat to Egypt. We made significant progress in addressing difficulties faced by the Australian meat industry in exporting beef to Turkey.

Other multilateral trade policy issues

Compliance and dispute settlement

The department leads Australia's participation in the WTO dispute settlement system. Defending Australia's requirement for plain packaging of tobacco products remained a priority. During 2012–13, Australia held WTO dispute settlement consultations with Dominican Republic (27 September 2012) and Cuba (13 June 2013) in relation to their complaints about Australia's requirement. Australia previously held consultations with Ukraine and Honduras in relation to the same measure. On 28 September 2012, at Ukraine's request, a dispute settlement panel was established by the WTO which attracted significant international interest; a record number of 35 members joining the dispute as a 'third party'. This will allow them to observe the proceedings and make statements to the, yet to be appointed, adjudicating panel.

Australia participated as a third party in WTO disputes affecting our commercial and/or policy interests. These included a dispute taken by Japan, the European Union and the United States in respect of export restrictions by China on forms of rare earths, tungsten and molybdenum; a dispute taken by the United States with regard to measures imposed by Indonesia on the importation of horticultural products, animals and animal products; and a dispute taken by Japan and the European Union in relation to domestic content requirements for the renewable energy generation sector in Canada.

The department provided advice to other federal government agencies and state and territory governments on Australia's and our trading partners' commitments under the WTO and free trade agreements. The department also managed Australia's active engagement in the negotiations on the review of the WTO's dispute settlement system.

WTO accessions

In July 2012, Australia joined other WTO members in adopting guidelines to streamline the process for the world's poorest countries to accede to the WTO, demonstrating a continued commitment to facilitating the participation of least developed countries (LDCs) in the multilateral trading system.

Australia supported the WTO accession of Laos, providing over $4 million in technical assistance and chairing the WTO Laos Accession Working Party. Laos became the 158th member of the WTO in February 2013 after 15 years of negotiations. As part of its accession commitments, Laos agreed to lower its barriers to imports of goods and services, including on key Australian exports. The assistance and support provided to Laos throughout its accession reflected Australia's continued commitment to supporting trade development in our immediate region.

Russia and Vanuatu became WTO members in August 2012, while Tajikistan's accession was finalised in March 2013. Through Russia's accession commitments we secured improved access for Australian beef to the Russian market and lower tariffs for sheepmeat and a number of mineral products. We strongly supported Vanuatu's accession to the WTO, which boosted the participation of Pacific countries in the organisation. The department was heavily involved in bilateral negotiations for a number of ongoing accessions, most notably Kazakhstan which, as part of a Customs Union with Russia and Belarus, represents a potential market for Australian beef exports.

Trade and environment

The department, in close cooperation with other Australian government agencies, actively worked in international forums, including the United Nations, WTO and APEC, to further Australia's trade-related environmental objectives and to address international and domestic environmental challenges.

Significant negotiations where trade and environment intersected included the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Doha in November–December 2012 and negotiations on the development of a global legally binding instrument on mercury (the Minamata Convention on Mercury) in January 2013. The department pursued opportunities to further liberalise trade in environmental goods, building on the agreement by APEC leaders in Vladivostok in September 2012 to reduce tariffs to five per cent or less on a list of 54 environmental goods by 2015. (See also 1.1.8) We worked with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to both inform and consult with our trading partners to maximise the effectiveness of the government's Illegal Logging Prohibition Act 2012. The department also focused on a number of international standards issues, including on carbon footprinting and biofuels.

Intellectual property

As with other chapters in bilateral and plurilateral FTAs, the department led the intellectual property (IP) negotiations, seeking balanced outcomes reflective of Australia's diverse interests. We also participated in negotiations on IP issues in the WTO and in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). In all IP negotiations, the department coordinated national policy positions with relevant domestic agencies, taking account of industry and other stakeholder views. The department worked with the Attorney-General's Department to help deliver a new WIPO treaty to facilitate access to published works by visually impaired persons, adopted in Marrakesh on 27 June 2013. We also played a constructive role in ongoing discussions in WIPO's Intergovernmental Committee on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore, which is exploring the possibility of new international instruments on these issues.

In Geneva, the department helped broker an extension of a waiver exempting LDCs from most obligations under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). The waiver gives LDCs flexibility in meeting their TRIPS obligations, recognising their ongoing difficulty in implementing complex international IP rules.

The department worked closely with industry to protect Australia's interests in relation to geographical indications for food names and to resist efforts by some countries to restrict the use of product names that we consider to be generic.

With Thailand and New Zealand, the department co-chaired the Intellectual Property Committee established under the ASEAN–Australia–New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), helping to take forward an important and ongoing program of capacity-building activities on IP in the ASEAN member states.

The department coordinated the government's response, tabled on 27 November 2012, to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties' report on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

Profile

David Kilham

As First Secretary at the Australian Mission to the WTO in Geneva, I advocate Australia's interests on international intellectual property issues in WIPO and the WTO.

David Kilham

I joined the department as a legal specialist in 2007, having previously worked for the then Department of Environment and Heritage and the Australian Antarctic Division. My work in DFAT has been challenging and diverse. I have contributed to the development of Australia's international intellectual property policy and represented Australia in bilateral and multilateral treaty negotiations on trade and environmental issues, such as the proposed Australia–Japan Free Trade Agreement and the Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

In WIPO, I recently contributed to the successful conclusion of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled. The Marrakesh Treaty was a very rewarding outcome. The treaty will allow organisations representing the blind and visually impaired to make accessible format books under national exceptions or limitations to copyright and to share these books across international borders.

In the WTO, I represent Australia in the Council for Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. In this role, I have defended Australia's tobacco plain packaging laws and advocated Australia's interests in relation to issues such as geographical indications (geographical terms used in relation to products) and the protection of genetic resources. I also recently helped to broker agreement on an extension to the transitional period under the TRIPS Agreement for LDCs.

World Wine Trade Group

The department contributed to the successful negotiation of the treaty-level Protocol to the 2007 World Wine Trade Group Agreement on Requirements for Wine Labelling, concerning alcohol tolerance, vintage, variety and wine regions. Argentina, Chile, Georgia, New Zealand and Australia signed the Protocol in March and April 2013, with Canada, South Africa and the United States all planning to sign by the end of 2013. The protocol will allow current Australian wine labelling practices to be accepted by all signatories, reducing the need for Australian wine producers to change labels for different export markets.

Free trade agreement negotiations

The department continued to advance Australia's FTA negotiation and implementation agenda, including through leadership of whole-of-government teams to take forward the government's negotiating mandates. We undertook extensive consultation with industry stakeholders and the states and territories.

As at 30 June 2013, the department's FTA negotiating agenda comprised ongoing negotiations with China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, the TPP and RCEP negotiating parties, the Pacific Island Forum countries—PACER Plus, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Ongoing bilateral negotiations

China Free Trade Agreement

The government intensified bilateral, including high-level political, engagement on the FTA with China, Australia's most significant trading partner.

The department facilitated the Prime Minister's visit to China in April 2013 during which both sides recommitted to concluding negotiations. We also provided support for Dr Emerson's meetings with China's new Commerce Minister, Gao Hucheng, and former Commerce Minister, Chen Deming. (See also 1.1.1)

In June 2013, the department led Australia's team during the 19th formal negotiating round in Beijing. This followed high-level discussions held by departmental officials with Chinese counterparts in May 2013 (Sydney), March 2013 (Beijing) and November 2012 (Sydney).

Ambassador to China, Frances Adamson (3rd right), with Chief Negotiator John Fisher (2nd right & inset right), in dialogue with Chinese counterparts, Australia–China Free Trade Agreement negotiations, Beijing, 6 June 2013. Additional members of the negotiating team (left to right): Ted Burgell; David Bomball; Paul Murphy; Neri Tarlinton (DIAC); and Ian McIntosh; with LES interpreter Qi Qi (right). [Wang Jinyong]

Ambassador to China, Frances Adamson (3rd right), with Chief Negotiator John Fisher (2nd right & inset right), in dialogue with Chinese counterparts, Australia–China Free Trade Agreement negotiations, Beijing, 6 June 2013. Additional members of the negotiating team (left to right): Ted Burgell; David Bomball; Paul Murphy; Neri Tarlinton (DIAC); and Ian McIntosh; with LES interpreter Qi Qi (right). [Wang Jinyong]

 

Japan Free Trade Agreement

We made good progress on the Australia–Japan FTA. The department led a large interagency team in a very busy negotiation schedule, with 16 informal negotiating sessions held in Australia and Japan as well as a series of video conferences. We finalised most of the terms of the agreement but a small number of sensitive issues remained unresolved, such as agricultural market access investment and automotive tariffs.

The department conducted intensive industry and stakeholder consultations, and supported regular ministerial and political-level engagement on the FTA, including meetings between the Minister for Trade and Competitiveness and Japan's Ministers of Economy, Trade and Industry and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. (See also 1.1.1)

Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement

Negotiations are well advanced but progressed slowly due to differences on a small number of sensitive issues, including Investor-State Dispute Settlement arrangements, access to Republic of Korea for Australian agricultural goods and access to Australia for ROK manufactured goods.

The department led negotiating sessions in July 2012 and supported substantial engagement throughout the year at ministerial and leaders' level, with a view to achieving breakthroughs on outstanding issues. Machinery of government changes in the Republic of Korea, resulting in the trade portfolio moving to the new Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the appointment of a new Trade Minister impacted on the pace of negotiations. (See also 1.1.1)

India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement

The department managed a multi-agency team for the fourth and fifth rounds of negotiations (November 2012 and May 2013 respectively) to secure an Australia–India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA). We commenced detailed goods market access negotiations and undertook constructive preliminary exchanges on services and investment.

The Australian and Indian Prime Ministers renewed the commitment of both countries to achieving an equitable, comprehensive and high quality agreement in a joint statement issued in October 2012 in New Delhi. In January 2013, Trade Minister Dr Emerson and India's Minister for Commerce and Industry, Mr Sharma, emphasised the priority for both countries in concluding a mutually beneficial CECA. (See also 1.1.5)

Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

Constructive engagement with industry characterised preparations for the first round of negotiations on the Indonesia–Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) in September 2012. The Australian and Indonesian governments welcomed submission of the Indonesia–Australia Business Partnership Group (IA-BPG) position paper in support of the negotiations and the round reconvened in March 2013. The IA-BPG, consisting of representatives from Australia and Indonesia's chambers of commerce and bilateral business councils, offered strong support for the IA-CEPA and made over 50 recommendations to improve trade, investment and economic cooperation. The group proposed two economic cooperation pilot projects (one dealing with nutrition and the other, skills exchange) which both governments are considering.

The negotiations reaffirmed the commitment by both sides to producing a comprehensive agreement with commercially meaningful outcomes covering trade in goods and services, investment and economic cooperation. Key outcomes included agreement on the guiding principles, objectives and organisation of negotiations, including a forward work plan to the end of 2014. (See also 1.1.2)

Figure 14: Australia's participation in regional economic architecture (as at 30 June 2013)

ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) was established in 1967 to accelerate economic growth and social progress in South-East Asia and to promote regional peace and stability. The ten ASEAN Member States are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The Agreement Establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) is a comprehensive FTA between the 10 ASEAN Member States, Australia and New Zealand. The agreement entered into force in 2010. ASEAN+3 (ASEAN Plus Three) is a forum that functions as a coordinator of cooperation between ASEAN and China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. The first ASEAN+3 Leaders' meeting was held in 1997. Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations involve the ten ASEAN Member States and ASEAN's six FTA partners – Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The RCEP negotiations were launched by Leaders on 20 November 2012. The East Asia Summit (EAS) is a regional leaders' forum for strategic dialogue and cooperation on key challenges facing the East Asian region. Membership of the EAS comprises the ten ASEAN Member States, Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, the United States and Russia. The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations are building on the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (P4) between Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore, which entered into force in 2006. TPP negotiations commenced in March 2010, and now include the P4 Parties and Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the United States and Vietnam. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum was established in 1989. Its primary purpose is to facilitate economic growth and prosperity in the region. APEC currently encompasses 21 member economies. The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus negotiations were launched by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in mid-2009. The Pacific Alliance was formed in 2011, and aims to deepen integration between Peru, Chile, Mexico and Colombia, including in the free movement of goods, services, capital and people. Australia was granted observer status to the group in November 2012. The Group of Twenty (G20) is the premier forum for international economic cooperation and decision-making, with members from 19 countries plus the European Union.

* Denotes G20 membership

** Australia was granted observer status in November 2012

---Denotes trade agreement/negotiation   — Denotes regional grouping

 

Ongoing regional negotiations

Promoting deeper regional economic integration through regional trade negotiations—TPP and RCEP—continued to be an important element of the department's trade policy work. Both agreements have the potential to build inclusive, outward-looking regional economic architecture and facilitate realisation of APEC's long-term goal of a free trade area of the Asia–Pacific.

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

Progress in the negotiations accelerated in 2012–13 with TPP trade ministers confirming the commitment to finalise a comprehensive, regional agreement by the end of 2013, if possible. Through the five negotiating rounds, the department led Australia's contribution to the conclusion of a number of chapters setting out disciplines for TPP parties.

The TPP has the potential to eliminate tariffs and other barriers to trade in key Australian export markets and streamline trade processes across the TPP membership, including through adoption of common rules of origin and reduction of production costs. During the year, the department pressed for unprecedented levels of services, investment and government procurement commitments from TPP partners and drew attention to greater opportunities for facilitating trade via electronic transmission.

In April 2013, current parties to the agreement—Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam—agreed by consensus to admit Japan to the initiative. As Australia's second largest export market, Japan's entry is important and now means that the TPP countries will account for 38 per cent of global GDP. The department conducted domestic consultations on the TPP negotiations, holding stakeholder briefings in mainland capital cities and in the margins of negotiating rounds.

Profile

TPP Team

The DFAT TPP team is a group of highly skilled and experienced negotiators from the department's Office of Trade Negotiations. They work with experts from other Australian government agencies on what is a comprehensive '21st century' trade agreement, with 29 chapters under negotiation. The 11 countries currently participating in the TPP negotiations are of differing sizes and levels of economic development, including the United States, Vietnam and Brunei. This makes navigating the dynamic and complex negotiating environment an enormous challenge. Japan's entry to the negotiations in July 2013 will bring membership to 12 countries and represent over 34 per cent of Australia's total two-way trade. Overcoming the sensitivities of individual countries and ensuring a strong outcome for Australia requires an in-depth knowledge of both the issues under negotiation and the countries at the table.

Departmental members of the TPP team alongside other agency members before a negotiation. Left to right: (standing): Sarah Stuart-Smith (Environment), Damien Hall (Environment), Jane Wagner (Finance), Siobhan Purcell, Andrew Jory, Richard Emerson-Elliott, James Pender (AGD), David Brightling, James Wiblin, Christopher Lee, Morna Bassi, Todd Dias, Andrew Wilkinson (IP Australia), Simon Henderson, Megan Keaney (Health), Robyn Foster (IP Australia); (seated): Susan Coles, Juliana Nam, Chief Negotiator Chris De Cure, Elizabeth Ward, Emily Flahive, Eugenie Hwang. [DFAT]

Departmental members of the TPP team alongside other agency members before a negotiation. Left to right: (standing): Sarah Stuart-Smith (Environment), Damien Hall (Environment), Jane Wagner (Finance), Siobhan Purcell, Andrew Jory, Richard Emerson-Elliott, James Pender (AGD), David Brightling, James Wiblin, Christopher Lee, Morna Bassi, Todd Dias, Andrew Wilkinson (IP Australia), Simon Henderson, Megan Keaney (Health), Robyn Foster (IP Australia); (seated): Susan Coles, Juliana Nam, Chief Negotiator Chris De Cure, Elizabeth Ward, Emily Flahive, Eugenie Hwang. [DFAT]

 

Lead negotiators draw on their trade, legal and economic expertise and their backgrounds in the department, as well as experience in the other government agencies and the private sector. The TPP team works closely with posts and holds regular public and private consultations with business, state government and other stakeholders across the country.

Participating countries in the negotiations take it in turns to host meetings that involve over 500 delegates participating in as many as 12 parallel negotiating sessions over a two-week period. A unique feature is that the negotiators take up to a day out of their schedule to engage with business and other stakeholders to listen to their views on the content of the agreement.

Regional Comprehensive Economic Agreement

Leaders from ASEAN and those countries with existing FTAs with ASEAN—Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea and New Zealand—launched the RCEP in the margins of the East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 20 November 2012. Together, the 16 RCEP participating countries account for almost half of the world's population, close to 30 per cent of global GDP and over a quarter of world exports. They also include nine of Australia's top 12 trading partners, and account for almost 60 per cent of Australia's two-way trade and 70 per cent of our exports.

The negotiations build on ASEAN's existing FTAs, including AANZFTA, and are based on agreed 'Guiding Principles and Objectives' which cover trade in goods and services, investment, economic and technical cooperation, intellectual property, competition, dispute settlement and other issues that may be agreed in the course of negotiations. The agreed aim is to complete negotiations by the end of 2015.

Departmental officials participated in two rounds of preparatory meetings (October 2012 and February 2013), in addition to the first round of negotiations, 9–13 May in Brunei Darussalam.

Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus

Australian and other forum member officials increased engagement and made significant progress on the agreed priority negotiating issues. Officials also considered developing a roadmap to guide PACER Plus negotiations into new areas not covered by the existing priority negotiating issues. (See also 1.1.6)

Gulf Cooperation Council Free Trade Agreement

FTA negotiations with the GCC remained suspended pending consideration by member states of recommendations from their internal review of FTAs. Australian ministers and heads of mission continued to advocate Australia's willingness to resume negotiations with this important market.

Implementation of existing free trade agreements

Countries covered by Australia's now seven concluded FTAs—New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, the United States, Chile and Malaysia; and the regional agreement with New Zealand and ASEAN—accounted for 28 per cent of Australia's total two-way trade in 2012.

The Malaysia–Australia Free Trade Agreement, Australia's seventh FTA, entered into force on 1 January 2013, following the conclusion of domestic processes in both countries. The agreement adds to Malaysia's commitments to Australia under AANZFTA, providing significant new market access opportunities for Australian goods exporters and services suppliers and improving the ease of doing business in Malaysia. The department, in conjunction with Austrade, undertook substantial outreach in Australia and Malaysia in support of the agreement.

The department continued to support the implementation of AANZFTA. We helped to resolve practical concerns relating to its implementation and to support ongoing business utilisation of the agreement. Departmental officials developed capacity-building activities and delivered workshops to ASEAN officials on rules of origin and transposition of the FTA's tariff schedules, as well as other forms of economic cooperation activities in areas such as: statistics on international trade in services; non-tariff measures; risk management; self-certification; international standards development; intellectual property; and competition policy.

The department supported Australia's role as host and co-chair of the 5th AANZFTA Joint Committee Meeting and related meetings, 17–21 June 2013. We assisted with committee meetings on Trade in Goods, Trade in Services and Investment, 1–7 December 2012.

The department worked with Chilean authorities to successfully streamline port-of-entry screening for beef exports under the 2010 Beef Grading memorandum of understanding that was a commitment in the Australia–Chile FTA. Beef remained Australia's second-largest merchandise export to Chile in 2012.

Effective implementation of the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement, now in its ninth year of operation, remained a high priority. The department worked with other government agencies to assist Australian companies successfully resolve market access issues in the United States. Consultations with the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia and the US Chamber of Commerce added further momentum to our economic relationship with the United States.

In 2012–13, we agreed with the Government of Thailand to establish a Market Access Implementing Committee to advance the general review of the Thailand–Australia FTA, progress the review of provisions on special agricultural safeguards and address other market access issues. The first meeting will be in July 2013.

The department made good progress on implementation of a number of initiatives designed to reduce costs and bureaucracy for business and the public under the Australia–New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement. (See also 1.1.6) The Protocol on Investment to the Australia–New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement entered into force on 1 March 2013.

The department's webpage http://www.dfat.gov.au/fta/ contains the latest FTA developments.

Outlook

This is a challenging time for the multilateral trading system. The Doha Round of negotiations is essentially at an impasse and there is little discussion of completing the Round as a single comprehensive package. Additions to the WTO membership have added to the complexity of the negotiating environment in recent years, as have changes to the nature and balance of power among WTO members.

We will need to use all available avenues and opportunities to ensure the WTO can evolve and adapt to the changing global economic environment. This includes continuing to advocate new and creative approaches to concluding the Doha Round, as well as pursuing complementary plurilateral negotiations, such as the Trade in Services Agreement. In the immediate term, we will remain focused on achieving a credible outcome for the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference. Notwithstanding the challenges of the Doha Round negotiations, we will need to continue to emphasise the valuable role that the WTO trade rules and dispute settlement system play in underpinning trade liberalisation.

We will continue negotiations across the FTA agenda and seek to conclude those negotiations that are well advanced, such as TPP and our bilateral FTA negotiations with the Republic of Korea, Japan and China. The department will progress Australia's other key negotiations, particularly with Indonesia, India and the RCEP. The department will also manage Australia's role as host and co-chair of the second round of RCEP negotiations in September 2013.

1.1.8 Trade development and policy coordination

Overview

Despite continued weak global economic conditions, Australia's economy remained resilient in 2012–13 with GDP growth projected to be around 3 per cent. High levels of business investment (particularly in the resources sector), strong improvement in non-rural commodity exports and solid increases in household consumption promoted positive growth. Australia outperformed most other advanced economies, growing 3.7 per cent in 2012. But domestic economic conditions remained uneven with global economic weakness, the strong Australian dollar and changing household spending patterns weighing on some sectors. In 2012, Australia's total goods and services trade continued to grow, reaching $616 billion.

The department sought to enhance Australia's interests by participating actively in the G20, APEC and the OECD including supporting the participation of the Prime Minister, the Trade Minister and other ministers in these forums.

Profile

Joanne Loundes

In 2012, I spent six months as a member of the G20 team at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Given Mexico's G20 presidency, it was an opportunity to see 'up-close' how much preparation is required of a G20 host country. Australia takes on the role on 1 December this year which will put us right in the thick of it.

Joanne Loundes

My Mexican experience has proved invaluable in my current role as Director of the G20 Trade and Economic Section, where it is our job to take forward our trade portfolio interests within the G20 and contribute to Australia's broader policy priorities in this forum.

My background is in economics and, prior to joining the department, I worked for three years at the Reserve Bank of Australia and six years at Melbourne University's Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research. I have drawn extensively on this experience throughout my DFAT career, including as First Secretary (Trade and Economic) in Tokyo and Director of APEC Branch's Trade and Investment Section.

 

Figure 15: Direction of Australia's exports, 2012 (a)

Japan, 16.6%, China, 26.2%, Taiwan, 2.9%, Hong Kong, 1.4%, Korea, 7.2%, ASEAN, 11.4%, India, 4.7%, European Union, 8.5%, United States, 4.9%, New Zealand, 3.7%, Other, 12.5%

(a) Goods data on a recorded trade basis, services data on a balance of payments basis.

Based on DFAT STARS database and ABS catalogue 5368.0.55.004.

 

Figure 16: Total foreign investment in Australia, 2012

United States, 28.5%, United Kingdom, 22.9%, Other EU, 6.9%, Japan, 5.8%, Switzerland, 2.3%, Hong Kong, 1.9%, Canada, 1.5%, China, 1.1%, ASEAN, 3.7%, International capital market (a), 2.7%, Other, 22.7%

(a) Excludes the Euro Bond

Source: ABS Cat. No. 5352.0 - International Investment Position, Australia: Supplementary Statistics, 2012

 

G20

Building on the outcomes of the Los Cabos Summit in June 2012, the department worked in support of G20 decisions to deliver greater stability and resilience in the global economy and strengthen growth and job creation. There were no G20 summits or meetings involving portfolio ministers during 2012–13.

As a member of the 'G20 troika' of past, current and future hosts we worked closely with Russia and Mexico on practical outcomes to strengthen economic growth and job creation for the Leaders' Summit in September 2013. This included developing clear messages on trade's contribution to growth, jobs and development. We endorsed Russia's emphasis on outreach to civil society and to countries outside of the G20. An officer of the department was deployed to our embassy in Moscow to work with Russia during its 2013 presidency.

In preparation for Australia's G20 presidency from December 2013, the department contributed policy advice on trade, food security, development and energy issues. We escalated our advocacy efforts with G20 countries and our region, as well as with a range of international organisations, to build support for the G20 forum and its forward agenda.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

As the premier economic forum in a fast growing region, APEC plays an important role among its 21 member economies in promoting trade and investment openness, encouraging unilateral economic reform and supporting the multilateral trading system. An extensive network of ministerial and officials' levels meetings, along with formalised links with business and academia, and an annual leaders' summit, provide opportunities to share national experiences, identify best practice, develop commercially responsive regulatory practices, and collaborate in addressing new and emerging regional economic and human security challenges.

Australia made a significant contribution to the positive outcomes achieved at the annual APEC Leaders' Meeting in Vladivostok in 2012. Leaders agreed on a list of 54 environmental goods on which tariffs will be reduced to five per cent or less by the end of 2015. Officers from the department led the working group that negotiated the list and the department supported Dr Emerson in brokering the final outcome. Increased trade in these products, which include core renewable energy technologies, waste and water treatment products and measuring instruments, will promote green growth and help the region move to a clean energy future. Australia also shaped the leaders' statement on promoting cross-border education cooperation, which aims to enhance the mobility of students, education providers and researchers in the region.

Minister for Trade, Dr Emerson (left), with Chilean President, Sebastian Piñera (centre), and US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, APEC Leaders' Meeting, Vladivostok, September 2012. [AUSPIC]

Minister for Trade, Dr Emerson (left), with Chilean President, Sebastian Piñera (centre), and US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, APEC Leaders' Meeting, Vladivostok, September 2012. [AUSPIC]

 

Throughout 2012–13, the department was closely engaged in APEC's work on disaster management, supporting women in the economy and counter-terrorism. On services liberalisation and transparency, we led work to expand the information database used by small and medium-sized enterprises to identify regulatory requirements for exporting to the region. Australia also drove efforts to strengthen regional financial markets by convening a meeting of officials, regulators and academics to discuss good practice regulation of trade and investment in financial services. Another workshop on good practice regulation for trade and investment in higher education services has been scheduled for August 2013.

On structural reform, the department facilitated, in conjunction with AusAID, an APEC 'twinning program' between the Australian Productivity Commission and its counterpart agencies in Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and China. The Philippines is preparing to join the program in the second half of 2013. The program aims to strengthen the institutional capacity of developing economies to deliver structural reform in the region. We assisted the Office of Best Practice Regulation to deliver workshops on regulatory impact assessment to over 600 officials in ten APEC economies. This training will help officials assess the trade impacts and costs and benefits of new regulatory measures before their adoption.

We supported Dr Emerson's participation in the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) meeting in Surabaya in April 2013. The MRT called for an agreement at the WTO 9th Ministerial Conference on trade facilitation, some elements of agriculture and development. The meeting also progressed APEC's work on enhancing cross-border education cooperation, expanding infrastructure development and investment, and promoting regional connectivity.

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

The department assisted Dr Emerson as Vice-Chair of the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) in Paris in May 2013. At the MCM, Dr Emerson advocated an agreement on trade facilitation in the current WTO Doha Round, noting the positive links between trade liberalisation and sustainable employment, increased productivity and growth. Participants at the meeting affirmed their commitment to a rules-based, open trading and investment system and to resist protectionism in all forms. The department also supported Dr Emerson as a panellist at the 2013 OECD Forum, where he outlined Australia's efforts to strengthen links with major economies in Asia and elsewhere.

The department's strong advocacy for closer cooperation between the OECD and Southeast Asia contributed to the launch of a new program at the MCM for enhanced strategic engagement with the region. We also encouraged continued strong engagement by the OECD with other important individual economic partners, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa.

Trade finance

The department works closely with other government agencies in providing policy advice on the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC), a statutory body that offers trade finance and insurance services to support Australian exporters in cases where the private sector does not.

Minister for Trade, Dr Emerson (seated right), chairing the trade session at the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting, Paris, 30 May 2013. [OECD]

Minister for Trade, Dr Emerson (seated right), chairing the trade session at the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting, Paris, 30 May 2013. [OECD]

 

The department led the whole-of-government response to the Productivity Commission report on Australia's export credit arrangements. This included developing two pieces of legislation—the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Amendment (New Mandate and Other Measures) Bill 2013 and the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation Amendment (Finance) Bill 2013. The bills outline EFIC's new mandate to address market failure and focus on small to medium enterprises and set out the corporation's new financial arrangements. Parliament passed the EFIC Finance Bill, which commenced on 31 March 2013. The EFIC Mandate Bill was passed by the House of Representatives but not by the Senate before Parliament rose in June 2013.

The department represented Australia in the OECD's Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees and the newly-formed International Working Group on Export Credits (IWG). The IWG was established to create a level playing field for the provision of official export financing by developing a set of international guidelines. The IWG met for the first time in Washington in November 2012 and again in Beijing in May 2013. Representatives from OECD and non-OECD countries participated in the meetings, including Brazil, Malaysia, Russia and South Africa. The goal is to conclude an agreement by 2014.

Enhancing trade competitiveness

The department supported Dr Emerson as Minister for Competitiveness to promote the government's productivity agenda. This included policy advice on infrastructure, innovation, business deregulation, skills and taxation issues. The department also advised portfolio ministers on a diverse range of trade competitiveness issues including productivity, global value chains, Australian industry competitiveness and foreign investment. We continued to work closely with the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism on Australia's energy security policy.

Secretary, Peter Varghese AO (2nd left), at Fortescue Metals Group's Cloudbreak mine during a tour of Western Australia's Pilbara iron ore region, May 2013. [WA Department of Mines and Petroleum/Richard Sellers]

Secretary, Peter Varghese AO (2nd left), at Fortescue Metals Group's Cloudbreak mine during a tour of Western Australia's Pilbara iron ore region, May 2013. [WA Department of Mines and Petroleum/Richard Sellers]

 

Sustainable mining and conflict diamonds

Helping to position Australia as a global leader in sustainable mining, the department actively engaged in initiatives to improve international governance in the resources sector. Australia hosted the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Global Conference, 23–24 May 2013—the first Asia–Pacific country to do so—with delegates from 96 countries participating. The conference saw the launch of a new and stronger EITI standard for resource revenue disclosure. Australia also continued its close involvement in the ongoing internal review of the Kimberley Process, which is designed to prevent rough diamonds being used to fund armed rebel groups.

Outlook

The global economy is improving, but is still uneven. The International Monetary Fund forecasts global economic growth to be 3.1 per cent in 2013 and 3.8 per cent in 2014. The outlook continues to be marked by uncertainty over increasing market volatility associated with monetary stimulus measures in major economies, China's growth trajectory and lingering concerns surrounding the Euro zone. The department will continue to play an active role in multilateral economic forums to reinvigorate trade liberalisation to support growth. We will advocate the benefits to be gained from participating in global value chains and the linkages between trade, economic growth and jobs.

In preparing to host the G20 Leaders' Summit in 2014, we will work with posts, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Treasury and other agencies to promote policies for global economic growth and job creation. We will engage with our G20 troika partners (Russia and Turkey), APEC hosts in 2013 and 2014 (Indonesia and China) and non-members of the G20 to maximise complementarities across these forums and reinforce policy outcomes.

Given the importance of an economically strong region, Australia will continue working with APEC economies in the pursuit of further trade liberalisation, regulatory coherence and stronger supply chains. The department will implement APEC's agreement on environmental goods and services and will enhance people-to-people linkages through continuing cross-border education initiatives.

1.1.9 International organisations, legal and environment

Overview

Australia was elected to serve as a non-permanent member on the UN Security Council (UNSC) for 2013 and 2014. The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister led a strong, whole-of-government campaign, coordinated within the department. Australia's election reflected our positive standing in global affairs and our significant contribution to international peace and security. In the first six months we established ourselves as a constructive and capable council member, contributing both to the deployment of several significant new peace operations and sharper focus on the implementation of existing resolutions and mandates.

As Chair of the UNSC Al-Qaida, Iran and Taliban Sanctions Committees, we strengthened the implementation of sanctions and helped align the work of the committees more closely with the UNSC's political agenda.

The department made an effective contribution to the United Nations, the Commonwealth and other multilateral forums on a broad range of human rights, international security and environmental issues.

We led Australia's engagement as Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth and worked to ensure the implementation of commitments made by leaders at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth, in 2011.

The department supported Australia's response to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), focusing on initiatives to improve oceans governance and to establish new global sustainable development goals.

The department provided legal advice to the government on law of the sea and environmental law issues, including supporting legal action to end Japan's commercial whaling, and responding to Timor-Leste's initiation of arbitration proceedings under the Timor Sea Treaty. We secured agreement among Antarctic Treaty parties to improve strategic planning, and continued to build support for a network of marine protected areas in East Antarctica.

We advanced regional cooperation on people smuggling and trafficking in persons, including by co-chairing the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime (the Bali Process) with Indonesia in April 2013. We also facilitated the establishment of regional processing centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Carr, receiving congratulations on Australia's election to the UN Security Council. (At left): Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Gary Quinlan, 18 October 2012. [UN PHOTO/Evan Schneider]

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Carr, receiving congratulations on Australia's election to the UN Security Council. (At left): Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Gary Quinlan, 18 October 2012. [UN PHOTO/Evan Schneider]

 

United Nations

The department promoted Australia's national interests in major international negotiations and debates, and supported the Foreign Minister at the UN General Assembly and other multilateral forums.

With AusAID, we continued to promote the principle of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). The department represented Australia on the R2P Group of Friends in New York and co-facilitated (with Ghana, Denmark and Costa Rica) the Global Network of R2P Focal Points.

The department promoted efforts to bridge the gap between civilizations. We contributed $75 000 towards the UN Alliance of Civilizations Youth Support Program in the Asia–Pacific. We supported Senator Carr's hosting of a roundtable in Sydney in July 2012 that brought together experts in theology, intercultural relations and human rights to promote intercultural understanding.

The department led Australia's engagement with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and supported the Australian National Commission for UNESCO.

United Nations Security Council

From July to October, the department intensified campaigning for Australia's UNSC seat. Australia's efforts included extensive overseas lobbying by Special Envoys, Ministers and Parliamentary Secretary Marles, visits to Australia by Ambassadors to the United Nations, and support for the Prime Minister's and Foreign Minister's attendance at Leaders' Week in September in New York.

The department consolidated whole-of-government planning for Australia's term, which delivered the necessary resources for Australia's Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York and a number of posts in Africa. We finalised policy priorities and consulted widely with other council member states, including the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and the Republic of Korea.

On 1 January, Australia took its seat on the UNSC. In the first half of 2013, we participated in 93 meetings, and negotiations on 73 council documents. We were closely involved with resolutions that renewed the mandates of 11 of the 23 UN peace operations and established two new peace operations in Somalia and Mali. Australia was selected as the UNSC's policy lead on Afghanistan.

Australia pushed for a strong and timely Security Council response to North Korean provocation. Our efforts contributed to the adoption of UNSC Resolution 2094 sending a clear message to North Korea that the international community would not tolerate expansion of its nuclear program.

Consensus among council members on Syria proved difficult but Australia worked to maintain the UNSC's focus on the deteriorating humanitarian situation, pushed for better protection for medical workers and humanitarian agencies and led discussions to secure council comment on human rights violations.

Australia helped ensure the UNSC's 13 Sanctions committees supported the council's political agenda. In particular, as Chair of the Committees on Al-Qaida, Iran and the Taliban, we oversaw better implementation of sanctions to help reduce the threat of Al-Qaida, increase pressure on Iran's nuclear program and support Afghan-led reconciliation.

Australia co-sponsored a resolution to increase the UN's ability to end impunity for sexual violence in armed conflict and post-conflict situations.

The department also worked to increase transparency and accessibility to Council decision-making through regular briefings for non-members and civil society in New York and Australia. Australia convened a meeting between council members, UN experts and civil society on practical measures to increase consideration of gender in UN field operations.

UNSC Campaign

On 18 October 2012, the UN General Assembly elected Australia to the UNSC in the first round with 140 votes. Luxembourg edged out Finland to take the second of the two vacant Western European and Others Group seats. Australia will serve for two years (2013–14). This is our fifth term on the Security Council and comes after a 27-year absence (last term served was 1985–86).

Following Prime Minister Rudd's announcement of Australia's bid for a non-permanent seat, we ran a sustained multifaceted campaign, founded on high-level political commitment, whole-of-government coordination, appropriate resources and meticulous attention to each bilateral relationship.

Commenting on the successful vote Senator Carr said the result was 'a clear vindication of Australian diplomacy and the work of Australian diplomats around the world. It's a win for Australian diplomacy and the people who conduct it'.

The head of the UNSC Taskforce, Caroline Millar, and Australia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Gary Quinlan, and their respective teams, led the campaign within DFAT. However, Australia's success reflected the work of the entire department, including heads of mission and staff at overseas posts.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Carr, joins the UNSC Taskforce shortly after the election in New York, Canberra, 24 October 2012. (Left to right): Emily Luck, Julia Feeney, Scott Rutar, Anne Moores, David Lewis, Lizzie Landels, Therese O'Meally, Taskforce Head, Caroline Millar, Dieter Michel, Senator Carr, Simon Mamouney, Gaia Puleston, Hugh Robilliard, Rachel Lord, Deputy Secretary Gillian Bird. [DFAT]

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Carr, joins the UNSC Taskforce shortly after the election in New York, Canberra, 24 October 2012. (Left to right): Emily Luck, Julia Feeney, Scott Rutar, Anne Moores, David Lewis, Lizzie Landels, Therese O'Meally, Taskforce Head, Caroline Millar, Dieter Michel, Senator Carr, Simon Mamouney, Gaia Puleston, Hugh Robilliard, Rachel Lord, Deputy Secretary Gillian Bird. [DFAT]

 

Australia ran a positive campaign focusing on our credentials with an authentic Australian 'brand' that resonated both with officials in New York and in capitals around the globe. As a founding member with a strong record of commitment to the United Nations, we highlighted our unique perspective as a developed country of the Asia–Pacific region and emphasised Australia's role in successful regional peacekeeping missions in Bougainville in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste. We lifted our profile in the United Nations, including by taking on more leadership roles in UN negotiations and forums.

We maximised the use of our global network, did not take any vote for granted and remained engaged with countries until the very end. Personal contact was decisive—by the Prime Minister, ministers and parliamentary secretary and special envoys. An effective program of visits to Australia by New York-based UN permanent representatives and by Australian heads of mission to their countries of accreditation played an important role.

The campaign delivered clear long-term benefits for Australian foreign policy beyond winning a seat on the Security Council. The activities undertaken during the campaign helped deepen Australia's engagement beyond established relationships and improved other countries' understanding of Australia. It developed a store of goodwill towards Australia. In many cases the process of establishing or deepening bilateral relations revealed previously untapped opportunities for cooperation on areas of shared interest.

Commonwealth

With Australia as the Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, the department played an integral role in implementing the commitments made by leaders at the Perth CHOGM in 2011. We led the process to finalise the Charter of the Commonwealth. The Charter was approved by leaders in December 2012, signed by Queen Elizabeth II on 11 March 2013 and tabled in the Australian Parliament by the Prime Minister on 20 March 2013.

We worked to reform and strengthen the Commonwealth to make it an effective institution capable of tackling today's challenges. We oversaw implementation of more than 80 agreed recommendations of the Eminent Persons' Group, the majority of which will be taken forward through the Commonwealth Secretariat's Strategic Plan for 2013–17.

The department supported the Foreign Minister's participation in Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group meetings, in September 2012 and April 2013, which continued to monitor the situation in Fiji and respond to political developments in the Maldives.

Human rights

In the UN General Assembly, the department prepared Australia's national statements on human rights, negotiated resolutions and co-sponsored 25 texts, including on abolition of the death penalty, the rights of Indigenous peoples, gender issues, freedom of expression and religious tolerance.

In the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), the department supported resolutions, including on persons with disabilities, torture and the rights of the child. Australia also led adoption of the HRC resolution on national human rights institutions (co-sponsored by 82 other states), and a resolution on the independence of judges and lawyers.

We advocated for the strengthening of resolutions on the human rights situations in a number of countries, in particular North Korea, Iran and Syria. We also co-sponsored the HRC's resolution on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka and a resolution on Myanmar, which was adopted without a vote for the first time.

The department led Australia's engagement with the HRC's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, a central element in the UN human rights machinery. Australia participated in 27 of the 28 UPRs held in 2012, and 26 of the 27 UPRs to July 2013.

We also participated in Australian delegations to other thematic UN meetings, including the 57th Session of the Commission for the Status of Women in March 2013 and the Sixth Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in July 2013.

Two Indigenous DFAT officers participated as members of Australia's delegation to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the department helped ensure the successful re-election of Professor Megan Davis to the forum.

The department led Australian delegations to the Australia–China Human Rights Dialogue in July 2012 and the Australia–Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue in June 2013. Discussions addressed issues such as freedoms of speech, assembly, association and the media; arrest and detention of political dissidents; prison conditions; use of the death penalty; torture; and specific cases of concern.

The department maintained its commitment to engage with civil society on human rights issues, inviting written submissions and holding consultations with NGOs in advance of both the China and Vietnam dialogues. We also debriefed NGOs on the outcomes of the China dialogue in September 2012, and will do the same on the Vietnam dialogue.

The department coordinated the government's response to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade's inquiry into Australia's human rights dialogues with China and Vietnam. We also worked closely with AusAID on the Human Rights Grants Scheme, which in 2012–13 provided $3.7 million for projects in the Asia–Pacific, Africa, the Middle East and South America.

People smuggling and trafficking in persons

The department continued to play a key role in the coordination of Australia's response to people smuggling. We supported the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) in the implementation of recommendations from the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers. We also led whole-of-government negotiations on the memorandums of understanding with Nauru and Papua New Guinea to establish regional processing centres, and managed ongoing consultation with foreign governments and regional partners. The department led efforts to develop an engagement strategy with Sri Lanka to address the significant increase in irregular maritime arrivals, and supported the Foreign Minister's visit to Sri Lanka in December 2012 to this end. We also provided policy and logistical support to the Prime Minister's Special Envoy to advance regional cooperation on asylum seeker issues.

The Ambassador for People Smuggling Issues promoted Australia's interests with key regional partners, including through the Bali Process (an international framework agreement involving over 45 countries and international organisations). To mark the tenth anniversary of the process, in November 2012, the ambassador co-chaired a commemorative conference and a forum on advancing regional cooperation on trafficking in persons.

The department, working closely with DIAC and the Attorney-General's Department, continued to advance the work program of the Bali Process, including through the Regional Support Office established in Bangkok in September 2012. The department supported Senator Carr's co-chairing of the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Bali Process (Bali, 2 April 2013). The conference agreed to progress the Regional Cooperation Framework; establish cooperation with the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation; develop policy guidelines to assist countries criminalise people smuggling and human trafficking; and establish a working group to focus on trafficking in persons issues.

The department pushed for strong responses to human trafficking through the Bali Process, in the United Nations on human rights issues and through the work of the Ambassador for Women and Girls. Domestically, we participated in the National Roundtable on Human Trafficking and Slavery, and coordinated a joint submission with other agencies to an inquiry by the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade on Australia's international efforts to combat human trafficking and slavery. The Ambassador for People Smuggling Issues represented the department at a public hearing of the committee in May 2013.

Environment and sustainable development

The department, together with the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), shaped the government's ongoing response to Rio+20. We pressed, in the United Nations, for an international instrument to strengthen the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction, consistent with our engagement on global oceans governance.

We secured agreement for states to refrain from introducing new subsidies or extending or enhancing existing subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing. This was the first time UN member states have so clearly acknowledged the urgency required to combat harmful fisheries subsidies. We also worked closely with AusAID and DSEWPaC in contributing towards the establishment of new global Sustainable Development Goals—the framework that will replace the current Millennium Development Goals after 2015.

The department supported reforms, currently underway, to those UN institutions responsible for environmental management and sustainable development. In particular, implementing changes to strengthen the UN Environment Program, and working in the United Nations to establish the new High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable as a replacement for the Commission on Sustainable Development.

The department contributed to successful conclusion of negotiations on a new international treaty to strengthen protection of human health and the environment through the regulation of mercury throughout its lifecycle—Minimata Convention on Mercury (see also 1.1.7). We continued to advocate the listing of chrysotile asbestos in the Rotterdam Convention, to help developing countries manage risks of unregulated imports of this significant health hazard.

Climate change

The department contributed to whole-of-government efforts to galvanise an effective global response to climate change. We participated in negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, including the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, UAE, in November 2012. Australia played an active role in these talks which made important steps towards a new legal agreement applicable to all countries. Negotiations on the new agreement are scheduled to be completed by 2015, with the agreement to come into effect from 2020.

We supported the Foreign Minister's participation in a debate of UNSC members on the impact of climate change on peace and security and in particular advocated the concerns of Pacific Island countries.

Sea law, environment law and Antarctic policy

The department advocated against all forms of commercial whaling and contributed to the government's action against Japanese whaling in the International Court of Justice, oral hearings for which commenced in June 2013. The department encouraged all parties involved in the Southern Ocean to behave responsibly to avoid loss of life or damage to the marine environment.

We contributed to the government's response to the initiation of arbitration by Timor-Leste under the Timor Sea Treaty. The department supported ministerial and officials-level discussions on international law aspects of a range of maritime security issues, including piracy and the South China Sea.

The department worked with the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) of DSEWPaC to promote Australia's Antarctic goals, including in science and environmental protection. We enhanced cooperation with Asian Antarctic Treaty parties. At the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in June 2013, Australia and Belgium led efforts to improve strategic planning by developing a Multi-Year Strategic Workplan. With AAD, the department built international support for the establishment of a network of seven marine protected areas in East Antarctica, a joint proposal of Australia, the European Union and France. The proposal will be specifically considered at a Special Meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in July 2013 in advance of the full meeting of CCAMLR in October 2013.

DFAT Senior Legal Adviser, Richard Rowe (right), then in the Antarctic, meets the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce AC CVO, making history as the first Governor-General to visit Antarctica, at Wilkins Aerodrome, Australian Antarctic Territory, 5 February 2013. The visit marked the Centenary of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition. [Government House/Sam Groves]

DFAT Senior Legal Adviser, Richard Rowe (right), then in the Antarctic, meets the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce AC CVO, making history as the first Governor-General to visit Antarctica, at Wilkins Aerodrome, Australian Antarctic Territory, 5 February 2013. The visit marked the Centenary of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition. [Government House/Sam Groves]

 

Together with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries we worked to strengthen regional fisheries management, contributing to the successful conclusion of negotiations on a subsidiary agreement to the Niue Treaty on Cooperation in Fisheries Surveillance and Law Enforcement.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is known as the 'constitution for the oceans' and provides the legal framework for humankind's interaction with the oceans. We joined in celebrations for the 30th anniversary of UNCLOS opening for signature, including by co-hosting a symposium of eminent academics and practitioners with the Australian National University, in Canberra in December 2012.

Sanctions and transnational crime

Sanctions

As a UNSC member, Australia participates in all 13 of its sanctions committees. Australia was appointed Chair of the Al-Qaida, Iran and Taliban Committees, and Vice-Chair of the Sudan, Côte d'Ivoire and Lebanon Committees.

We raised awareness of the applicability of the Al-Qaida sanctions to new areas of activity, including Mali and the Sahel. We also worked to strengthen cooperation between sanctions committees dealing with similar issues.

The department arranged for amendments to Australian law to reflect UNSC sanctions in relation to Al-Qaida, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Eritrea, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and the Taliban. In January 2013, we contributed an expert to an international meeting relating to sanctions on Iran, convened by the UN Panel of Experts on Iran in Auckland and hosted a subsequent meeting of the panel in Canberra.

We oversaw amendments to Australian law to reflect changes in Australian autonomous sanctions in relation to Iran, Myanmar, Syria and Zimbabwe. We contributed experts to international meetings of the Friends of the Syrian People's International Working Group on Sanctions in Sofia in February 2013 and Ottawa in June 2013 and the Like-Minded Group on Iran Sanctions in May 2013.

The department conducted national outreach on sanctions in May 2013, providing briefings for industry and universities in Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. In April and May 2013, we conducted a formal public consultation on new autonomous sanctions on Iran and considered written submissions from the public. The new measures are expected to be fully implemented by August 2013.

Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Gary Quinlan, chairing the UNSC's Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, supported by Counsellor, Peter Scott (left), and First Secretary, Lauren Henschke, New York, 10 May 2013. [UN PHOTO]

Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Gary Quinlan, chairing the UNSC's Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, supported by Counsellor, Peter Scott (left), and First Secretary, Lauren Henschke, New York, 10 May 2013. [UN PHOTO]

 

As the Australian government's sanctions regulator, we received 215 informal inquiries and 429 formal applications related to sanctions permits in the year 2012–13.

Transnational crime and counter-terrorism financing

The department contributed to the OECD Working Group on Bribery's third evaluation of Australia's implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. The evaluation found that Australia had a strong record of implementing the Convention and acknowledged Australia's enforcement efforts. We continued to refer allegations of foreign bribery and extra-territorial offences to the Australian Federal Police. We also provided training on foreign bribery and other extra-territorial offences to departmental staff.

The department led the Australian delegation to the 6th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. We co-sponsored a resolution on migrant smuggling which called on states to criminalise people smuggling and to intensify immigration, law enforcement and judicial cooperation.

We provided technical assistance to key bilateral partners, including Indonesia and Pakistan, on meeting global counter-terrorism and counter-proliferation financing standards developed by the Financial Action Task Force. We also participated in a UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate global initiative aimed at helping member states establish effective mechanisms to freeze terrorist assets in accordance with their UNSC obligations.

International law

Consistent with the Legal Services Directions, the department provided legal advice both internally and to other Commonwealth agencies on issues of public international law, including international humanitarian, human rights and criminal law. We contributed to the successful conclusion of a range of international instruments, including the Arms Trade Treaty, a piracy Detainee Transfer Arrangement with the Seychelles and the Copenhagen Process on the Handling of Detainees in International Military Operations. We provided legal advice in support of Australia's work as Chair of the UN Group of Governmental Experts (UNGGE) on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security and made a submission on legal issues to the UNGGE on Space. We offered legal advice in support of Australia's engagement in the UNSC.

With the Attorney-General's Department, we were heavily involved in efforts to end impunity for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. In particular, we supported the work of the International Criminal Court and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, responsible for prosecuting those most responsible for the atrocities of the Pol Pot regime.

The department cooperated with the Department of Defence and the Attorney-General's Department to ensure that the Australian Defence Force's operations in Afghanistan, including detainee activities, met all applicable domestic and international legal obligations.

The department led engagement with the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) and its work to strengthen international humanitarian law. Together with AusAID and the Department of Defence, we partnered with the ICRC in its four-year Health Care in Danger project to enhance protection of medical care in armed conflicts and other situations of violence.

Treaties

Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) reviewed 25 new treaties with departmental support. We facilitated the signing of 14 treaties, including the Defence and Security Cooperation Treaty with the United Kingdom and the multilateral Arms Trade Treaty, and nearly 100 memorandums of understanding. We enabled consultation with the Australian states and territories on treaties under negotiation, consideration or review, and advised government agencies on treaty implementation and interpretation, including through an information seminar for government officials.

Outlook

The coming year will be a busy period for the UNSC, with our membership continuing to provide Australia with unique opportunities to pursue our national interests.

The department will support Australia's rotating presidency of the UNSC for September 2013.

Renewing the UNSC's authorisation of the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, looking ahead to the form of international assistance following ISAF's departure, will be a priority.

The department will push for UNSC support for practical measures to increase consideration of gender in UN field operations.

As Chair of the UNSC Al-Qaida, Iran and Taliban Sanctions Committees, we will seek improved implementation of Sanctions and encourage the wider application of sanctions regimes to new and emerging theatres of Al-Qaida activity, such as Mali and the Sahel.

The department will lead Australia's participation in the Colombo CHOGM in November 2013, including by facilitating a seamless handover of the Commonwealth chair-in-office role.

The department will support the Australian Red Cross in hosting the Statutory Meetings of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in Sydney in November 2013.

We will promote improved environmental outcomes through supporting negotiation of an implementing agreement on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction, and through advocating the establishment of marine protected areas in East Antarctica.

The department will maintain the government's opposition to commercial whaling, particularly through our role in the International Court of Justice case against Japan. We will continue to manage Australia's response to Timor-Leste's initiation of arbitration under the Timor Sea Treaty.

We will steer the development of cooperative regional approaches to combat people smuggling and human trafficking, including under the Regional Cooperation Framework, through the activities of the Regional Support Office.

1.1.10 Security, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation

Overview

The work of the department was central to protecting and advancing Australia's international security interests as strategic and economic weight continued to shift to the Indo–Pacific region, and challenges such as proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and an evolving terrorist threat persisted. Cyber and space security demanded increasing attention.

We contributed to the strategic and security-related elements of three major government policy pronouncements: the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper; the National Security Strategy; and the 2013 Defence White Paper. We worked closely with other key departments and agencies to implement the strategies set out in these documents.

The department played a major role in concluding a treaty to prevent the illicit trade in conventional weapons, the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Australia's Ambassador for Disarmament chaired the difficult, but ultimately successful final negotiations.

As a member of the UN Security Council (UNSC), we promoted a strengthened global response to the diffuse and complex terrorist threat and better implementation and coordination of counter-terrorism and counter-proliferation measures.

The department drove Australia's contribution to global and regional efforts to prevent the spread of WMD and their means of delivery. We engaged strongly in the main non-proliferation treaties; the major export control regimes; and in high-level meetings to strengthen the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and take forward specific nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation measures through the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI).

Led by the Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism, we maintained an emphasis on coordinating Australian counter-terrorism efforts in our own region and in areas in which we have special expertise. The department also strengthened other international partnerships. We contributed strongly to global efforts to address new and emerging challenges, both in the UNSC and in the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), where we focused particularly on the management of extremist detainees in prison and on youth radicalisation.

The department deepened Australia's international engagement on cyber. We chaired a UN Group of Governmental Experts which delivered a consensus report affirming the application of international law to states' use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). In collaboration with international partners, we built support for the proposed International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities to address the challenge of proliferating space debris.

National security and strategic policy

The department was closely involved in formulating the strategic and security related elements of the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper. These elements were taken forward in the National Security Strategy and 2013 Defence White Paper to which the department also contributed extensively. Key themes included: the rationale for a new Indo–Pacific regional construct; the critical importance of deeper regional engagement; strengthened regional architecture, notably the East Asia Summit; the importance of constructive and stable relations between the major powers, promoting a rules-based regional and global order; and consideration of the wider economic, environmental and other dimensions of regional security.

We also arranged briefings on these three major policy pronouncements for the diplomatic corps in Canberra and used DFAT's overseas network of posts to disseminate key messages to other governments.

The department continued to focus on the security aspects of the multifaceted US rebalance to the Asia–Pacific region, working closely with the Department of Defence (Defence) to support enhanced Australia–US defence cooperation initiatives. The first successful rotation of US marines through Darwin was undertaken during the period. Departmental staff participated in the major Australia–US biennial military exercise, TALISMAN SABER 2013.

First Assistant Secretary, International Security Division, Caroline Millar, meets Deputy Commander, US Marine Forces Pacific, Richard Simcock, to discuss the US rebalance, Hawaii, June 2013. [US Marine Corps Forces Pacific]

First Assistant Secretary, International Security Division, Caroline Millar, meets Deputy Commander, US Marine Forces Pacific, Richard Simcock, to discuss the US rebalance, Hawaii, June 2013. [US Marine Corps Forces Pacific]

The department supported meetings of the National Security Committee of Cabinet, the Secretaries' Committee on National Security, the Strategic Policy Coordination Group and other interagency security-related bodies.

The department worked closely with the Australian intelligence community to counter terrorism and WMD proliferation, and to address other international security challenges.

Maintaining momentum in the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue (TSD), involving Australia, Japan and the United States, was a priority. The department took forward the activities of various TSD working groups, participating in a meeting of TSD senior officials in Tokyo in September 2012 and in the trilateral Security and Defence Cooperation Forum led by Defence. The department also worked closely with Defence on ballistic missile defence issues, including participating in Exercise NIMBLE TITAN, a multilateral ballistic missile defence exercise organised by the United States.

Through sustained diplomatic effort, Australia became a member of the Regional Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia. This reinforced our practical engagement with regional partners on maritime security.

The department steered diplomatic efforts to advance the international cyber agenda, notably in relation to norms for responsible state behaviour in cyberspace. We chaired a 15-member UN Group of Governmental Experts to successfully broker a consensus report for UN General Assembly consideration affirming the application of international law, including the UN Charter, to states' use of ICTs. We also promoted practical cyber confidence building measures in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).

The department's engagement on space security focused on the pressing problem of the proliferation of space debris which threatens critical satellite-based infrastructure. The department helped drive the proposal for an International Code of Conduct on Outer Space Activities, including through regional outreach. In December 2012, Australia co-chaired with Vietnam the first ARF Space Security Workshop. We also contributed to the development of Australia's first national Satellite Utilisation Policy.

Nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament

The department led government efforts to strengthen the global non-proliferation and disarmament regime. We contributed strongly to Australia's multi-agency delegations to the second Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) preparatory meeting (PrepCom) for the 2015 NPT review cycle and the meeting of States Parties of the Biological Weapons Convention in December 2012. Australia's ambassador in The Hague led the delegation to the 2013 Chemical Weapons Convention Review Conference.

During the year, we continued to work closely with NPDI partners to advocate implementation of the 2010 NPT Review Conference action plan through practical initiatives, working papers and outreach—including at the second NPT PrepCom in April in Geneva. We supported the Foreign Minister's co-chairing of the 5th NPDI Ministerial Meeting in New York in September 2012, and provided significant leadership in the NPDI's meeting in The Hague in March 2013.

The department, together with the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office, engaged in related forums such as the conference on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons hosted by Norway in March, and the UN's open-ended working group on disarmament negotiations in May in Geneva.

The department led the first round of negotiations of a civil nuclear cooperation agreement between Australia and India, which began in New Delhi on 19 March. The agreement will enable the export of Australian uranium to India, while ensuring such material is used only for peaceful purposes under international supervision.

Counter-proliferation and export controls

The department helped, and in many cases led, global efforts to prevent proliferators from exploiting differences in national export control systems to obtain access to sensitive, dual-use WMD-related materials and technologies. We engaged strongly in the four major international export control regimes: the Australia Group (AG); the Wassenaar Arrangement; the Nuclear Suppliers' Group; and the Missile Technology Control Regime.

As permanent chair of the AG, we spearheaded a statement of concern on the part of all 41 AG members about the mounting evidence of the use of chemical weapons in Syria and secured AG agreement to subject exports to Syria to intensified scrutiny. We led a session at the 10th anniversary PSI High-Level Political Meeting held in Poland in June, which reinforced the international framework for interdiction of illicit WMD-related shipments.

Conventional weapons

Australia's Ambassador for Disarmament chaired the final, difficult ATT negotiating conference, following which the treaty was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 2 April 2013 and opened for signature on 3 June. Australia was among the first member states to sign. This positive outcome, which involved a coordinated whole-of-government approach, including use of our overseas network over years, will enhance the regulation and transparency of the global conventional arms trade through the establishment of common international export standards.

Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and to the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, Peter Woolcott, as President of the Final UN Conference on the ATT, presenting his report on the outcome of the conference to the UN General Assembly which subsequently adopted the treaty, New York, 2 April 2013. [UN PHOTO/Devra Berkowitz]

Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and to the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, Peter Woolcott, as President of the Final UN Conference on the ATT, presenting his report on the outcome of the conference to the UN General Assembly which subsequently adopted the treaty, New York, 2 April 2013. [UN PHOTO/Devra Berkowitz]

 

We continued to work towards the universalisation of the treaties banning the production and use of cluster munitions and landmines, and took a leading role in the clearance of landmines in our region and beyond. Through programs administered by AusAID, Australia has committed over $175 million to mine clearance, victim assistance and mine-risk education in support of the Mine Ban Convention in Asia, the Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Australia itself ratified and became a State Party to the Cluster Munitions Convention.

Counter-terrorism

Faced with a diffuse and changing threat, the Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism led Australia's international counter-terrorism engagement. The department maintained an emphasis on Southeast Asia, while building other international relationships and pursuing the global counter-terrorism agenda.

We continued to support programs in Indonesia and the Philippines to promote social cohesion, counter violent extremism and encourage dialogue and understanding between different religious groups. We also supported Indonesia's prisons system reform program with training and capacity building.

We used our membership of the UNSC, including our chairing of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committees, to promote better coordination of multilateral counter-terrorism efforts and to strengthen sanctions implementation.

As a member of global forums, including the GCTF, we contributed to international efforts to understand and anticipate the evolving terrorist threat and to devise appropriate responses, particularly in relation to the management of extremist detainees in prisons and youth radicalisation. The threat is increasingly diverse, characterised by smaller, more technologically sophisticated and isolated cells which are harder to detect and which often feature individuals, as seen in the April 2013 Boston bombings.

Australia's international engagement on the management of homemade explosive precursors was a priority area. We brought international delegations to Australia to study explosive precursor management and hosted a workshop in Thailand on whole-of-government approaches to countering the misuse of dual-use chemicals and improvised explosive devices.

We maintained our role as coordinator of the UN's Group of Experts on improvised explosive devices under the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. The department provided whole-of-government coordination of Australia's work on the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism to build regional capacity to address the risks of nuclear smuggling and terrorist exploitation of radiological sources.

We strengthened our counter-terrorism partnerships in the Middle East, holding talks with partners including the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. In Yemen, we supported projects to address the risk of terrorists exploiting the charitable sector for funding and to build capacity in the Yemeni judicial sector on international counter-terrorism law, through the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism, Bill Fisher, discussing the Syrian conflict with Lebanon's Director-General of Internal Security Forces, Acting Major-General Roger Salem, Beirut, 30 May 2013. [DFAT]

Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism, Bill Fisher, discussing the Syrian conflict with Lebanon's Director-General of Internal Security Forces, Acting Major-General Roger Salem, Beirut, 30 May 2013. [DFAT]

 

Responding to the emergence of Al-Qaida affiliates in North Africa, the department helped African countries strengthen counter-terrorism capabilities through focused workshops and training in the legal sector. We supported workshops to address violent extremism and to build regional counter-terrorism legal capacity in Tanzania and Kenya respectively. As part of the same program, we delivered counter-terrorism training to Nigerian law enforcement officers and prosecutors.

We commenced international and domestic consultations as part of a large scale review of terrorist listings implemented under UNSC Resolution 1373.

The department hosted the launch by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime of its inaugural publication, Transnational Organized Crime in East Asia and the Pacific – A Threat Assessment, in Sydney on 16 April 2013. The event received wide domestic, regional and international coverage.

The department supported international efforts to address piracy in the Indian Ocean and West Africa. We hosted a conference with Defence in Perth in July 2012 on addressing piracy in the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea.

Outlook

In a shifting regional and global security landscape, the department will reinforce Australia's credentials as a thoughtful and constructive partner on international security matters.

An important priority will be enhancing security-related dimensions of our relationships with the major powers. We will use our UNSC membership to accelerate progress on sanctions implementation, counter-proliferation and counter-terrorism. We will continue to support the multifaceted US rebalance to the region, strengthen our partnerships, especially in the Indo–Pacific region, and reinforce regional architecture, notably the East Asia Summit.

The department will continue to lead Australia's work with key ATT supporters to promote the earliest entry into force of the treaty and its effective implementation.

We will advocate progress under the 2010 NPT Action Plan, including at NPDI ministerial meetings in New York in September 2013 and in Hiroshima in April 2014.

The department will lead the second round of negotiations with India on a civil nuclear cooperation agreement, in late July 2013 in Canberra, and continue to ensure that any exports of uranium meet the government's policy and safeguards requirements.

Cyber and space security issues will continue to grow in prominence. We will strengthen our engagement in the UN dialogue on norms, participate actively in the October 2013 Seoul Conference on Cyberspace, and conduct an ARF regional workshop on cyber confidence building measures in the first half of 2014. The department will also work to advance the proposed International Code of Conduct on Outer Space Activities initiative and other streams of space security policy, including through the ARF.

Led by the Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism, the department will strengthen cooperation with international counter-terrorism partners. We will maintain our whole-of-government approach to ensuring that resources are allocated in line with Australia's interests and where Australia can make a difference. For example, under the Australia–Indonesia Security Program, the department will coordinate projects focused on law enforcement and criminal justice, legal framework development, prison management, border and transport security and counter-terrorism financing.

PROGRAM MANAGEMENT (SERVICES TO OTHER AGENCIES)

1.1.11 Services to other agencies in Australia and overseas (including Parliament, state representatives, business and other organisations)

Overview

The department maintained a high level of service to the Parliament, ministers and Cabinet.

We provided financial, human resources and property management services to 28 government departments and agencies with overseas representation, as well as to the New Zealand Government. We provided information and communications technology services to 40 agencies in Australia and overseas and payroll services to 14 agencies overseas.

Through engagement of key stakeholders and contribution to whole-of-government outcomes, the department worked with business and state and territory governments to implement the government's foreign and trade policy, and promotion and development priorities.

The Australian Parliament

The department continued to give high priority to providing services to Parliament, ministers and Cabinet. We fulfilled our public accountability responsibilities by presenting information to parliamentary committees.

Parliamentary travel

We assisted with 105 overseas visit programs for individual federal parliamentarians and parliamentary delegations. We facilitated overseas visits for parliamentary delegations to 26 countries, including Afghanistan, Timor-Leste, Mongolia, Myanmar and Russia. We recommended visits programs and scheduled appointments with relevant officials and provided written and oral background briefings on foreign and trade policy.

Incoming delegations

We assisted the Parliament with 21 visits to Australia by parliamentary delegations from other countries. The Hon. Thura U Shwe Mann, Speaker of the Lower House of the Myanmar Legislature, led the first parliamentary visit to Australia from Myanmar. We also provided the presiding officers with briefings in preparation for their meetings with visiting parliamentarians and officials.

Parliamentary committees

The department briefed and appeafred before a range of parliamentary committees, as outlined in Appendix 5. (See also Section 3)

Questions on notice

The department assisted portfolio ministers with responses to 87 written parliamentary questions on notice: 38 from the House of Representatives and 49 from the Senate.

In addition, we answered 637 questions submitted in writing or taken on notice during Senate Estimates hearings.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Carr (left), with Speaker of the Lower House of the Myanmar Legislature, the Hon. Thura U Shwe Mann (centre), during a Myanmar Parliamentary Delegation visit to Australia, September 2012. [DFAT/Mark Graham]

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Carr (left), with Speaker of the Lower House of the Myanmar Legislature, the Hon. Thura U Shwe Mann (centre), during a Myanmar Parliamentary Delegation visit to Australia, September 2012. [DFAT/Mark Graham]

 

Ministerial submissions and briefings

During 2012–13, the department produced 1 234 ministerial submissions, 256 meeting briefs, 258 Cabinet briefs and 36 Cabinet submissions.

Ministerial correspondence

We received and processed 8 003 items of ministerial correspondence in 2012–13, compared with 9 654 in 2011–12.

Services to attached agencies overseas

The Service Level Agreement (SLA) sets out the obligations of the department and other agencies for management services and determines service delivery standards in the areas of financial, human resources and property management for Australia-based employees and locally engaged staff in posts managed by the department. The department recoups a proportion of its costs from the departments and agencies. Feedback during the reporting period was positive.

Under the SLA, we provided services to 28 government departments and agencies with overseas representation, as well as to the New Zealand Government.

We also delivered information and communications technology services to 40 agencies in Australia and overseas and payroll services to 14 agencies overseas (see Appendix 8). We implemented the Memorandum of Understanding for Information and Communications Technology Services for over 40 client agencies in 2012–13 ahead of renegotiations planned for 2013–14.

Services to state governments and other agencies overseas and in Australia

The department worked closely with other Australian government agencies in providing briefing, policy advice and logistical support for Australia's interactions overseas. This included participation in negotiations led by other agencies and support for Australian officials meeting with foreign counterparts.

Through our overseas posts and state and territory offices (STOs), we led the coordination of overseas visits by ministers, parliamentarians and officials from federal, state and territory jurisdictions. STOs were also a valuable conduit between the department and state and territory governments on Australian foreign and trade policy issues.

Services to business

Trade policy coordination, business liaison and state and territory offices

In cooperation with AusAID and the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, the department assisted around 1 200 delegates from 92 countries participating in two major conferences on sustainable mining and resources governance—the 6th Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Global Conference and the Mining for Development Conference—in Sydney in May 2013.

We worked with Austrade to support Australian companies seeking to increase their trade competitiveness by providing advice on the international business environment and market access opportunities.

STOs hosted seminars and consultations with state and territory governments, industry, non-government organisations and tertiary institutions on a wide range of issues affecting Australia's foreign policy, economic and trade interests, for example:

Profile

Debra Chapman

I am Director of the department's Northern Territory Office located in Darwin where I have a key representational and advocacy role. I regularly liaise and network with the Northern Territory Government, business and the broader community to provide information and guidance relevant to international activities. The office also coordinates with other Commonwealth agencies, provides passport and consular services and engages with the small consular corps. As the territory's agencies and organisations seek to expand trade and investment engagement with the Asian region and as the number of ministerial visits grows, I expect to see even greater cooperation with our posts overseas.

Debra Chapman

My service with the department began 20 years ago when I was recruited as deputy director of this STO on its opening in the early 1990s. Between periods accompanying my spouse on his ambassadorial appointments, I have had several placements within the office as manager of consular operations and as acting director. In particular, I led the case management and consular emergency teams during the major crises of 2005–2006, such as the Asian tsunami, the Bali-2 attacks, the London bombings, Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma, the Indonesian earthquake and the Lebanon evacuation.

I first joined the Commonwealth Public Service in 1983 and, prior to my STO appointment, I worked for the Attorney General's Department, Defence and AQIS (Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy Program).

Trade statistics

The department provided valuable information on Australia's trade relationships with other countries by publishing a range of reference material on its website, including country fact sheets, trade statistics publications and trade time series data. We also published a number of articles containing detailed analysis of: Australia's foreign affiliates trade in services; trade in value added; trade in passenger services; trade with China; and Australian resources exports.

Outlook

The department will maintain a high standard of service to the Parliament, including prompt and efficient management of questions on notice and ministerial correspondence. We will keep federal parliamentarians, parliamentary delegations and committees informed of the Government's foreign and trade policy priorities and support their efforts to advance Australia's interests overseas.

We will continue to support state and territory governments, other agencies and the business community in Australia and overseas. This will include consultation on trade policy issues.

Management services will continue for other government agencies in our overseas network in line with commitments under the Service Level Agreement.

PROGRAM MANAGEMENT (SERVICES TO DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR REPRESENTATIVES)

1.1.12 Services to diplomatic and consular representatives in Australia

Overview

The department provided high-quality visa, accreditation and other protocol services to diplomatic and consular staff (and dependants) from 101 missions resident in Canberra, 42 non-resident missions, 361 consular posts and 12 international organisations with offices throughout the country. In 2012–13, Australia hosted up to 1 849 diplomatic and consular representatives from 158 countries (up from 1 148 in 2011–12).

Despite the growing size, diversity and geographic spread of the diplomatic and consular corps, the department effectively helped resolve concerns relating to diplomatic mission security and access to diplomatic privileges. The department also assisted agencies in the resolution of a wide range of reverse consular cases involving foreign nationals in Australia. Protocol services were provided in a manner consistent with Australia's obligations under the Vienna Conventions, which codify the rights and responsibilities of diplomatic and consular officials.

We worked closely with the Security Coordination Branch, Attorney-General's Department (AGD), the Australian Federal Police and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) to protect the security and dignity of diplomatic and consular representatives in Australia.

Services to the diplomatic and consular corps

The department assisted with the establishment of the 100th diplomatic mission in Australia with a fully-accredited ambassador—El Salvador—on 26 June 2013. We also supported the opening of new diplomatic missions in Canberra by Kosovo and Azerbaijan, as well as four new consular posts and 16 new honorary consular posts throughout Australia. Following the Syrian Government's decision to close its embassy in Australia, we facilitated the mission's closure. The department worked closely with Government House to ensure the smooth handling of credentials ceremonies for 21 new resident and nine non-resident heads of mission. We continued our close engagement with the ACT Government and the National Capital Authority on issues such as the diplomatic estates, environmental protection and the contribution of the corps to the broader community.

Ambassador of El Salvador to Australia, HE Manuel Alfredo Gutiérrez Ruiz, presenting his credentials to Governor-General Quentin Bryce AC CVO, Canberra, 26 June 2013. [Andrew Taylor]

Ambassador of El Salvador to Australia, HE Manuel Alfredo Gutiérrez Ruiz, presenting his credentials to Governor-General Quentin Bryce AC CVO, Canberra, 26 June 2013. [Andrew Taylor]

 

The department worked with a growing number of Australian government agencies to assist the diplomatic corps conduct its business. We promoted understanding by law enforcement authorities and emergency services of our obligations as a receiving state. Those obligations mean, for example, that foreign consular officials have the right to visit and correspond with detained foreign nationals in prison, custody or detention and arrange their legal representation. We also managed a number of other issues involving the diplomatic corps, including security, immigration, defence, private domestic employment, airport security, customs and quarantine, land and premises for foreign missions, taxation and motor vehicle ownership and disposal. VIP airport facilitation continued to be a priority.

We pursued the negotiation of reciprocal bilateral employment arrangements with foreign governments to regulate the employment of dependants of diplomatic officers in the host country. After 18 years of negotiations, we concluded a new arrangement with Argentina in April 2013, bringing the total number of agreements managed by the department to 42. These agreements remain challenging to negotiate, including because of differences of expectation and multiple legislative arrangements.

The department reinforced government and community expectations about foreign representatives adhering to the laws of Australia. In particular, we brought the issue of traffic infringements by diplomats to the attention of relevant heads of mission.

We began work to streamline processes through better information and technology services, to bring efficiencies to the department and the corps.

Protection of diplomatic and consular missions

The department focused on ensuring compliance with Australia's international obligations to protect the security of diplomatic missions and consular posts in Australia. We responded promptly to some limited protest activity at these sites in 2012–13. We worked with counterpart agencies to address specific security concerns and to ensure appropriate protection and dignity for the missions and posts. We also worked with missions themselves to raise awareness of Australia's core values relating to freedom of expression and peaceful political protest.

Engagement with the diplomatic and consular corps

In December 2012, the Secretary hosted the annual reception to thank the diplomatic corps for its contribution to strengthening bilateral foreign and trade relations, and for its cooperation on consular matters.

The department facilitated a number of briefings for the diplomatic corps on issues of priority importance, including Australia's hosting of the G20 in 2014, as well as security and VIP services, and requirements at Australian airports. We coordinated a briefing by DIAC, AGD, Fair Work Australia, and the Australian Taxation Office on the changes to Australia's legislation relating to human trafficking to assist missions in both their consular role and as employers.

Outlook

The department will continue to offer international best practice protocol services to the growing diplomatic and consular community throughout Australia. To that end, we will regularly review and update the Protocol Guidelines, published on the DFAT website.

We will emphasise the importance of diplomatic and consular missions adhering to their local employment obligations, following changes to Australian legislation. Despite significant challenges, we will pursue additional reciprocal bilateral employment agreements for dependants of diplomatic officers.

Reflecting our UN Security Council term and forthcoming G20 host year we intend to provide briefings to the diplomatic corps on issues of interest as opportunities arise.

Table 7: Services to diplomatic and consular representatives: statistics

2010–11
2011–12
2012–13
Number of diplomatic representatives for whom the department provides services
1,068
1,148
1,849
Number of consular representatives for whom the department provides services
950
1,023
1,717
Number and category of services provided:
  • visas issued for the corps
2,330
2,925
3,527*
  • arrivals and departures processed
1,202
1,692
2,614
  • identity cards issued
1,265
1,362
1,505
  • presentation of credentials
22
33
30
  • exequaturs issued
21
33
22
  • facilitation of purchase, registration and disposal of cars by privileged personnel
1,384
1,057
1,081
  • requests processed for foreign awards to Australian citizens
59
91
15**
  • requests processed for dependants seeking permission to work
94
111
57
  • approvals for new foreign missions in Australia (includes diplomatic missions, consular posts and offices of international organisations)
9
19
23
  • approvals for defence advisers/attachés
14
13
12

* The rise in 'visas issued for the corps' reflected changes to DIAC's visa system and included international relations, overseas missions and other visa types which were unable to be captured previously.

** The significant reduction in 'requests processed by DFAT for foreign awards to Australian citizens' was due to the implementation of new foreign awards guidelines. Under these guidelines, an Australian can accept such an award if it is listed on an approved schedule. Requests are therefore processed only for foreign awards not so listed. These, however, are submitted to Government House directly, rather than through the department. DFAT's approval is required only for departmental officers

.

PROGRAM MANAGEMENT (PUBLIC INFORMATION SERVICES AND PUBLIC DIPLOMACY)

1.1.13 Public information services and public diplomacy

Overview

The department's public diplomacy programs made a positive contribution to shaping international perceptions of contemporary Australia and strengthening international partnerships at the government, institutional and community levels. We continued an active program of international media and cultural visits, domestic advocacy and outreach.

We promoted accurate and informed reporting of Australia and the government's foreign and trade policy goals and achievements through regular interaction with Australian and international media. The department's expanded social media footprint played a significant role in projecting key messages to a diverse range of audiences.

Oz Fest, the largest Australian cultural festival ever staged in India, was the centrepiece of the department's cultural diplomacy efforts and was delivered under the auspices of the Australia International Cultural Council (AICC). The council also had oversight of a program of cultural events in Vietnam to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

Senator Carr launched a major departmental publication on the history of Australia's membership of the United Nations in February 2013.

International public diplomacy

The department supported a wide range of activities aimed at conveying Australia's values and interests to influential individuals and non-government organisations.

In line with the department's Public Diplomacy Strategy, the key areas of focus were deepening relations with major partners, including the United States, Japan, China, India, the Republic of Korea and the countries of ASEAN; supporting Australia's candidacy for a seat on the UN Security Council; and projecting Australia's trade and investment policy and commercial interests.

Major activities included: strengthened linkages between Australian and Indonesian universities and schools as part of a wider program to build deeper people-to-people linkages; assistance for targeted visits to priority countries to showcase Australia's scientific and technological excellence; support for the G'Day USA program of promotion and policy dialogue; and advocacy of Australia's trade policy objectives, particularly in relation to negotiations (such as the Malaysia–Australia Free Trade Agreement).

Oz Fest was part of a whole-of-government advocacy and public diplomacy strategy in India to complement the Strategic Partnership announced by the Australian and Indian Prime Ministers in November 2009. The festival included substantive events to promote Australia as a trade and investment partner and a tourist destination. Twenty-four government, business, institutional and production partners from Australia and India supported the festival.

A program of arts and cultural activities held in Vietnam to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations was an opportunity to advocate Australia's foreign and trade policy objectives and to promote our commercial interests. Bangarra Dance Theatre opened the celebrations in February with performances and workshops in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Oz Fest

Oz Fest was launched by the Prime Minister in October 2012, with Australian light projections against an ancient Indian monument as the backdrop. The festival brought a contemporary, diverse and innovative vision of Australia to a large Indian audience. As part of the opening night celebrations, the captain of Australia's Indigenous cricket team, Josh Lalor, presented cricket stumps painted by Indigenous artists to the dignitaries.

(Left to right):Then High Commissioner to India, Peter Varghese AO; Indigenous Cricket Team Captain, Josh Lalor; India's Minister of Human Resources Development, Communications & Information Technology, Kapil Sibal; Prime Minister Julia Gillard; President of Indian Council of Cultural Relations, Dr Karan Singh; and Deputy High Commissioner, Dr Lachlan Strahan at the opening night of Oz Fest, 16 October 2012. [DFAT/Simon de Trey-White]

(Left to right):Then High Commissioner to India, Peter Varghese AO; Indigenous Cricket Team Captain, Josh Lalor; India's Minister of Human Resources Development, Communications & Information Technology, Kapil Sibal; Prime Minister Julia Gillard; President of Indian Council of Cultural Relations, Dr Karan Singh; and Deputy High Commissioner, Dr Lachlan Strahan at the opening night of Oz Fest, 16 October 2012. [DFAT/Simon de Trey-White]

Oz Fest involved 159 events held in 18 cities across India. It ran for 114 days and reached more than 290 000 people and showcased a diversity of Australian music, art and design, food, film, literature, theatre, dance, comedy and sport. The opening night concert featured performances by Gurrumul Yunupingu, Mark Atkins and Anoushka Shankar. Other highlights included a tour by the MasterChef Australia judges and a closing concert by the Australian musician, Gotye. The festival made strong use of social media to promote its messages, with a dedicated Facebook page attracting 66 000 likes, and drew positive feedback from high-level Indian government and private sector attendees.

Media services

The department's media liaison team in Canberra responded to high levels of interest from both domestic and international media organisations, contributing to informed coverage of Australia's foreign and trade policy interests and public understanding of the department's work.

Consular matters continued to generate significant media interest, including cases involving Australians in detention or facing legal proceedings in China, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. An Australian kidnapped in the southern Philippines for over a year attracted public attention. There was also media interest in the department's support for Australians caught up in natural disasters, such as Cyclone Evan in the Pacific and Hurricane Sandy in the United States. We actively encouraged media outlets to include messages on safe travel in their reporting on consular matters.

The department managed media arrangements for high-level visits to and from Australia, including the Prime Minister's attendance at the East Asia Summit, APEC and the Pacific Islands Forum. We handled media issues for the bilateral visits by the Prime Minister to China and Papua New Guinea and the 10th anniversary commemoration of the 2002 Bali Bombings.

Over the year, the department provided 160 media background briefings and interviews for the Australian press on a range of international political, strategic, trade and consular issues. We issued 402 media releases and public statements for portfolio ministers, parliamentary secretaries and the department itself.

We distributed a substantial number of transcripts of interviews, press conferences and speeches by ministers.

We continued to strengthen media skills across the department including through training programs for newly-appointed heads of mission, staff departing on overseas postings, consular and public affairs officers in Canberra and at post, graduate trainees and other new recruits.

Website services and social media

Reflecting the growing value of social media as a public diplomacy instrument, the department significantly expanded its online presence. By the end of 2012–13, the department had 45 separate social media accounts in place in posts in Europe, the Americas and the Asia–Pacific region. Posts in 28 countries were using social media to widen the reach of their programs with local audiences. Since its establishment in April 2011, the departmental Twitter account has expanded, now attracting more than 15 000 followers.

We increased the number of videos on the department's YouTube channel to 138, including 20 videos in a new Our Ambassadors series.

The department's web presence continued to deliver online services and information to the public. The main departmental website averaged 367 000 unique visitors per month. The smartraveller website averaged 344 000 unique visitors each month and the department's combined overseas post websites, numbering more than 90, received an average of 630 000 unique visitors each month.

The department's planned program of improvements to its online presence includes work to ensure compliance with the Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy.

Our Ambassadors Series:

The Our Ambassadors video series aims to promote a better understanding of the government's foreign and trade policies and demystify the department's work and its people.

Our Ambassadors Series:

In the 8–10 minute videos, Australian heads of mission and post outline Australia's main priorities in their countries of responsibility, offer insights into their work and share experiences about serving overseas. The series currently includes interviews with 20 heads of mission and post from Southeast Asia, the Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

Trade advocacy

The department sought to expand the communication of Australia's trade policies to new audiences, both domestically and overseas. By introducing a new weekly newsletter, Trade Talk, the department showcased Australia's trade initiatives and examined international trade developments from an Australian perspective. Our annual publication, Trade at a Glance, documented Australia's trade with the world and promoted the value of trade and investment liberalisation.

The department also provided detailed advice on trade and economic statistics to ministers' offices, other agencies, business and the general public. We published 11 statistical publications, which were freely available on the website. We managed almost 2 800 enquiries on trade and economic statistics in 2012–13 and increased our use of Twitter to deliver more timely and user-friendly updates on Australian trade issues.

Treaties

The department maintained the Australian Treaties Database, an online public resource for researching treaties to which Australia is a signatory, or where Australia has taken other treaty action. The database can be accessed at www.info.dfat.gov.au/treaties. We also maintained the Australian Treaties Library, which makes available the texts of all treaties Australia has signed, and those that have entered into force for Australia.

Special visits program

Our special visits program brings emerging leaders and opinion-shapers to Australia for meetings in their areas of interest with government, business and community figures. It gives participants an understanding of Australia's culture and policy environment, and has increased our network of international foreign and trade contacts. Thirty-seven individuals visited Australia under the program in 2012–13. (See 1.1.1, 1.1.2, and 1.1.3 for highlights.)

International media visits

The department funded and organised eleven working visits to Australia by 32 journalists from 21 countries. The visitors were selected to advance specific objectives identified in the department's Public Diplomacy Strategy. Among the visit themes were democratic institution-building, environmental sustainability, trade and investment reform, banking and finance regulation, the development of natural resources and gender equality. All of these visits generated well-informed and relevant reporting and commentary on Australia and its interests.

In support of the development of fledgling media in Myanmar, we funded a journalism training course in Yangon and internships for two female Myanmar journalists with Australia Network through the John Doherty internship program. We also sponsored a visit by a group of Australian journalists to Papua New Guinea to report on developments there and the multifaceted bilateral relationship.

The Douglas Gabb Australia Pacific Journalist Internship enabled the placement of two journalists from Tonga and Fiji with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The department also facilitated and funded the exchange of journalists with Indonesia under the annual Elizabeth O'Neill Journalism Award and the Senior Editors' Visit Program.

Women's international media visit participants from Tonga, Fiji, the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan meet with Australia's Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, Sydney, November 2012. [DFAT]

Women's international media visit participants from Tonga, Fiji, the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan meet with Australia's Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, Sydney, November 2012. [DFAT]

 

Cultural diplomacy

International cultural visits

The department used its international cultural visits program to develop positive relations with cultural leaders and deploy Australia's cultural assets in ways consistent with our national interests.

In 2012–13, we supported visits by artists, music industry professionals, curators and directors of cultural institutions from Vietnam, Indonesia, Turkey and Brazil. An important focus of the visits was developing content for the AICC's annual focus country programs. We partnered with the Australia Council for the Arts and the National Gallery of Australia to bring delegates to the Fifth Australasian Worldwide Music Expo, the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art and the opening of Kastom: Arts of Vanuatu exhibition.

Australia International Cultural Council grants program

The AICC grants program supported 18 cultural projects in 2012–13 in Asia, the United States and Europe.

The grants were focussed on reinforcing the outcomes of the AICC's focus country programs in the Republic of Korea (2011) and contributing to the Oz Fest program in India (2012). One of the Oz Fest grants was 'The Pilbara Project' exhibition, featuring works by Indian and Australian film-makers and photographers, including young Indigenous film-makers and the award-winning Nicole Ma.

The grants program supported a tour of China by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, a season in New York by Circus Oz and projects in Vietnam, Mongolia, France, Thailand and Indonesia.

Indigenous Australian arts and culture

The department continued its proud record of support for lifting the profile of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture internationally. We supported numerous events at posts, one of which was an exhibition of the works of Lena Nyadbi, in association with her installation on top of the Musée du quai Branly in Paris (see 1.1.4). With Artbank, we toured two Indigenous exhibitions simultaneously. Washington hosted Balgo: Contemporary Australian Art from the Balgo Hills and the exhibition Message Stick: Indigenous Identity in Urban Australia, toured through Egypt, Turkey, India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. The success of Message Stick was reinforced by concurrent visits of two of the artists to India and Vietnam.

Indigenous artist, Lena Nyadbi, attends the Custodianship Ceremony for her installation 'Dayiwul Lirlmim', on the roof of the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, 2 June 2013. Accompanying Lena Nyadbi (left to right): President of the Musée du Quai Branly, Stéphane Martin; Governor-General Quentin Bryce AC CVO; the artist; and Chair of the ATSIA Board of the Australia Council for the Arts, Lee-Ann Buckskin. [DFAT]

Indigenous artist, Lena Nyadbi, attends the Custodianship Ceremony for her installation 'Dayiwul Lirlmim', on the roof of the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, 2 June 2013. Accompanying Lena Nyadbi (left to right): President of the Musée du Quai Branly, Stéphane Martin; Governor-General Quentin Bryce AC CVO; the artist; and Chair of the ATSIA Board of the Australia Council for the Arts, Lee-Ann Buckskin. [DFAT]

 

The AICC supported the attendance of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegation to the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts in Solomon Islands (see 1.1.6).

We celebrated NAIDOC Week in July in Canberra with a photographic exhibition, Black Gold, highlighting the achievements of Indigenous sportspeople. (See also, Section 3) Posts also celebrated NAIDOC week, with a range of cultural activities, performances and workshops. We marked Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June) with a presentation to the diplomatic corps in Canberra.

Presenting Australian visual arts and music overseas

We partnered with Musica Viva and Asialink to tour performances and art exhibitions in Asia. Touring The Australian Voices to China and Elixir (jazz trio) to Vietnam, Taiwan and Singapore were highlights.

Australian Sports Outreach Program

The department worked with the Australian Sports Commission, with funding from AusAID, to manage the Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP) in the Pacific region. Through ASOP, posts supported sports programs for disadvantaged community groups, contributing to improved health and social inclusion while also delivering positive public diplomacy outcomes.

Acting High Commissioner in Fiji, Glenn Miles (3rd left), and Third Secretary, Ben Rhee (back), join participants in the High Commission-sponsored Nadi Fun Run, Nadi, 14 July 2012. [Australian High Commission Suva]

Acting High Commissioner in Fiji, Glenn Miles (3rd left), and Third Secretary, Ben Rhee (back), join participants in the High Commission-sponsored Nadi Fun Run, Nadi, 14 July 2012. [Australian High Commission Suva]

 

Fostering people-to-people links

The International Relations Grant Program (IRGP) is the largest grants program the department administers. We provide secretariats for, and work closely with ten foundations, councils and institutes to foster people-to-people and institutional links—bilaterally and regionally—in support of the government's foreign and trade policy goals and to project a positive contemporary image of Australia. Foundations, councils and institutes manage the majority of the grant programs funded under the IRGP. The grants support professional, community and institutional linkages between Australia and its partners on issues of shared interest including the arts, media, education, science, technology and social development initiatives such as health and sport.

Council for Australian–Arab Relations

2013 marks the 10th anniversary of the Council for Australian–Arab Relations (CAAR). Since CAAR's establishment, the department has worked with the council to foster stronger relations between Australia and the Arab world. In 2012–13, CAAR sponsored a number of projects to build stronger institutional and community links, including bringing eight women leaders from the Middle East and North Africa to Australia to participate in the Australian Arab Women's Dialogue. The council continued to support the Arab Gateways online educational service and the Arab Film Festival.

Australia–China Council

The Australia–China Council (ACC) facilitated partnerships between government, business and communities, supporting 35 projects in education, science, business, economy and arts, and making a major contribution to the program to celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations with China.

The ACC and the Foundation for Australian Studies in China appointed Professor David Walker as the inaugural BHP Billiton Chair of Australian Studies at Peking University. The ACC Board visited China in July, participating in the 13th biennial Australian Studies Conference in Chengdu and the Australia–China High-Level Industry Dialogue chaired in Beijing by Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan. The ACC-funded Beyond the Cables: Australian Ambassadors to China 1972–2012 oral history project was launched by Secretary Varghese in December.

Profile

Jakarta Public Affairs Team

Jakarta's Public Affairs Section comprises Counsellor (Public Affairs) Ray Marcelo and locally engaged staff members. The section promotes Australia–Indonesia bilateral relations and embassy activities through mainstream and social media, monitors Indonesian media coverage of Australia, and responds to enquiries from journalists and the public.

(Left to right): Senior Information Officer, Mubarok; Press Clippings Officer, Dini Setiowati; Ray Marcelo; Senior Public Affairs Officer, Angky Septiana; and Translator, Aryoko Luhur; out and about near the Australian Embassy, Jakarta, June 2013. [Australian Embassy Jakarta]

(Left to right): Senior Information Officer, Mubarok; Press Clippings Officer, Dini Setiowati; Ray Marcelo; Senior Public Affairs Officer, Angky Septiana; and Translator, Aryoko Luhur; out and about near the Australian Embassy, Jakarta, June 2013. [Australian Embassy Jakarta]

Assisting with media during high-level official visits is one of the team's main priorities and we work closely with journalists to advocate issues of importance to Australia. We also organise media events and provide advice and hands-on assistance with public affairs activities for other agencies at the embassy. Two staff members produce a daily press summary of stories relevant to Australia collected from Indonesian newspapers, magazines, online media and television.

Angky Septiana has worked with the Australia Government in Indonesia for 15 years, the past seven years as the Senior Public Affairs Officer.

'Being a member of the public affairs team at the embassy in Jakarta is exciting. We are always involved in many interesting activities and I've had the chance to work with and meet high profile media personalities and leaders from both countries', Angky said.

A growing area of responsibility for the team, together with the Cultural Section, is the effective use of social media. With more than 134 000 Facebook fans and 4 200 followers of the ambassador's Twitter account, the embassy in Jakarta has become a leader in social media innovation within the department. The team has run live question and answer sessions on a range of topics, including visas and studying in Australia, and organised giveaways and events for our Facebook fans and Twitter followers.

Australia France Foundation

The Australia France Foundation was created in 1989 as the major element of Australia's official contribution to the celebration of the Bicentenary of the French Revolution. Program highlights in 2012–13 included: supporting the 14th annual Australia–New Zealand film festival in St Tropez; the third round of the Australia–France 1.5 Track Strategic Dialogue; the Tjurrkutjanu – Aux Sources de la Peinture Aborigene (The Origins of Aboriginal Painting) exhibition at Musée du quai Branly and the complementary exhibition Luminous at the embassy in Paris; and the ongoing Sadlier-Stokes scholarship for schools from the north of France, awarded on Anzac Day 2013 in Villers-Bretonneux.

Australia–India Council

The Australia–India Council (AIC) continued its work to deepen people-to-people and institutional links between Australia and India. As part of the Oz Fest cultural festival, the AIC funded Bookwallah, an innovative train tour across India by high profile Australian and Indian authors. The council engaged young people through the Australia India Youth Dialogues held in Melbourne and Sydney and funding of a new partnership in surf life saving. The council also supported Young Media Fellowships for Indian journalists and provided assistance to the Walkley Foundation for Journalism.

Australia–Indonesia Institute

The Australia–Indonesia Institute (AII) promoted people-to-people links between Australia and Indonesia by supporting a diverse range of projects, including three flagship programs: the Building Relations through Intercultural Dialogue and Growing Engagement (BRIDGE) program; the Australia–Indonesia Youth Exchange Program; and the Muslim Exchange Program. A total of 27 grants were provided for priority areas including arts, education, interfaith activities, media, science and technology, youth, and women and girls.

Highlights included the Indonesian senior editors' visit to Australia and the pilot Australian artistic directors' visit to Indonesia, which were important precursors to the AICC's focus year on Indonesia in 2014. The AII and Australia Council for the Arts also supported a pilot community arts education placement. Two Australian arts practitioners worked with local students, families and artists in Indonesia to develop a public artwork that reflected the unique identity of their school and community.

Australia–Japan Foundation

The Australia–Japan Foundation (AJF) supported 50 projects in Japan and Australia across the AJF's six themes: security, regional and international relations; economics and trade; education and science; society and culture; communication, information and advocacy; and earthquake and tsunami disaster reconstruction.

The Prime Minister delivered the AJF Address in Sydney in October as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the relationship between the Australia–Japan Business Co-operation Committee and its Japanese counterpart. We continued efforts to assist the people of the Tohoku region recover from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami through the launch of a mobile library for the community of Iitate in Fukushima, and a visit to Melbourne by Japanese schoolchildren from Minami Sanriku (see also 1.1.1).

Director, AJF Secretariat Australian Embassy Tokyo, Michiyo Horita (right), with Dylan Curnow, manager of the Isabella a Capella choir from Lismore, recipients of an AJF grant which allowed the choir to perform in Japan, Tokyo, 29 January 2013. [Brenden Allen]

Director, AJF Secretariat Australian Embassy Tokyo, Michiyo Horita (right), with Dylan Curnow, manager of the Isabella a Capella choir from Lismore, recipients of an AJF grant which allowed the choir to perform in Japan, Tokyo, 29 January 2013. [Brenden Allen]

 

Australia–Korea Foundation

The Australia–Korea Foundation (AKF) celebrated its 20th anniversary of promoting bilateral engagement and people-to-people links.

The AKF funded 13 scholarships for young Australians to study in Korea and 32 projects to build bilateral collaboration in science and technology, environment, education, and culture and society. It continued to support five flagship programs, which allow business and media interns to gain experience in Korea and next-generation leaders and artists to participate in exchange visits. The AKF's BRIDGE Program, conducted with Asialink, continued to connect teachers and students, with 24 school partnerships now formed between the countries. The AKF also sponsored Australian children's illustrated book exhibitions at Paju International Book Festival and supported the establishment of Australian studies courses at Yonsei University.

Council on Australia Latin America Relations

The Council on Australia Latin America Relations (COALAR) supported links with Latin America through funding for 16 projects in areas of business, education, culture, sustainability and tourism. Through COALAR, we supported the inaugural Latin America Dialogue at the University of Melbourne and continued our support for the Latin America Business Council awards and the Latin America film festival. (See also 1.1.3)

Australia–Malaysia Institute

The Australia–Malaysia Institute (AMI) contributed to the bilateral relationship with Malaysia, funding 29 grants in public policy, arts and culture, sports cooperation and education. The AMI implemented the inaugural Australia–Malaysia Cultural Exchange Program under which six young Malaysian leaders visited Australia in May and a reciprocal Australian delegation visited Malaysia in June. (See also 1.1.2)

The AMI continued its support for the Australia-ASEAN Emerging Leaders Program (A2ELP). In the margins of the Asia–Pacific Roundtable in Kuala Lumpur in June 2013, the third A2ELP brought together over 20 emerging leaders from Australia and ASEAN countries for intensive discussions on regional challenges.

Australia–Thailand Institute

The Australia–Thailand Institute (ATI) supports Australia's diplomatic objectives in Thailand by broadening and deepening links between people and institutions. A total of 17 grants were provided in areas that included economics and trade, democratic governance and public administration, arts and culture, education, science and technology and innovation.

The ATI launched its Discover Thailand scholarships and supported a number of visits, including by a delegation of Thai journalists and a group of Next Generation Community Leaders from Thailand. A highlight for the ATI was the establishment of the Australia–Thailand BRIDGE program, which developed cultural exchange partnerships between eight Thai and Australian schools.

Australia Awards

Through its secretariat role, the department supported the Australia Awards Board to finalise work on the Australia Awards brand; to craft, through an intensive consultation process with other agencies and overseas missions, a global Alumni Network Strategy; and to build and make operational a single, consolidated database of Australia Awards alumni dating back to 1955. Following the recommendations of the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper, AusAID took over secretariat responsibilities for the Australia Awards in January.

Direct Aid Program

The department managed the Direct Aid Program (DAP), a flexible small grants program available in over 130 developing countries through 60 overseas posts. The DAP focused on supporting community-based development projects managed by individuals, community groups, non-government organisations and private organisations on a not-for-profit basis.

The department also managed the International Development Fund (IDF), a small grants program to support development initiatives relevant to Australia's multilateral policy agenda. The IDF is administered by Australia's Permanent Missions to the United Nations in New York and in Geneva.

Together, the DAP and the IDF support Australia's wider foreign and trade policy interests and assist developing countries to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development. Both programs are important for advancing Australia's international relations and public diplomacy objectives, including by promoting a distinctive and positive image of Australia globally. DAP and IDF funding is available only for projects benefiting countries eligible for Official Development Assistance.

Ambassador to Portugal, accredited to Cape Verde, Anne Plunkett (front), joins participants in a DAP-funded project on São Vicente Island. The project, one of twelve projects in Cape Verde supported by the embassy in Lisbon, provided a cooking workshop and equipment for vision-impaired women and single mothers of children with cerebral palsy to help them earn an income and achieve a measure of independence, May 2013. [Australian Embassy Lisbon/Raquel Leandro]

Ambassador to Portugal, accredited to Cape Verde, Anne Plunkett (front), joins participants in a DAP-funded project on São Vicente Island. The project, one of twelve projects in Cape Verde supported by the embassy in Lisbon, provided a cooking workshop and equipment for vision-impaired women and single mothers of children with cerebral palsy to help them earn an income and achieve a measure of independence, May 2013. [Australian Embassy Lisbon/Raquel Leandro]

 

Allocation of DAP funds to posts was considered on the basis of the development needs of countries, accessibility by posts to their countries of accreditation and the potential impact at the community level. A greater proportion of DAP funding was allocated to regions and countries where Australia's overall aid program has a lower profile but our foreign policy and trade engagement is growing—such as South Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Typically, DAP and IDF projects focused on activities to alleviate poverty and address community health, gender equality, environmental issues and youth and education. Successful projects in 2012–13 included: upgraded facilities in a shelter for girls vulnerable to violence, poverty and abuse; training for current and future government and NGO leaders in Myanmar on constitutional reform; and various grassroots projects in Africa relating to food security, agriculture and environmental sustainability.

In 2012–13, the budget allocated to the DAP and the IDF was $10 million from AusAID funding. Following the government's decision to direct a portion of the Australian aid budget to onshore costs associated with irregular maritime arrivals in Australia, the final DAP and IDF budget was $8.94 million.

Freedom of information

The department finalised 220 freedom of information (FOI) applications in 2012–13 (see Table 8 below), 16 more than in 2011–12. We managed the processing of FOI applications to the department and portfolio ministers and provided advice to FOI decision-makers for these applications. We also coordinated FOI consultation requests from other agencies, particularly concerning the international relations exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).

We saw a steady flow of applicants seeking access to personal information and an increase in information requests covering complex and sensitive policy topics. In some cases the sensitive nature of the documents precluded finalisation of an access decision within the statutory deadline.

We finalised decisions on all 13 requests for internal review of access decisions. Nine appeals to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) against an access decision were lodged in 2012–13. In one matter, the OAIC set aside the department's decision and substituted it for an amended access decision to disclose additional information.

The department presented information under the Information Publication Scheme contained in Part II of the FOI Act at: http://www.dfat.gov.au/foi/ips.html.

The department contributed to the government-wide consideration of FOI reform and information policy, including through a submission to the government's review of the operation of the FOI Act.

Publications register

The department produced 24 publications in 2012–13, which are available for sale or free of charge online at http://dfat.gov.au/publications/. The list of publications is at Appendix 13.

Historical publications and information

The department maintained its strong commitment to the production of publications on the history of Australia's international relations.

The major document published during the year was Australia and the United Nations, the most comprehensive history to date of Australia's role in the creation, development and growth of the United Nations. A documentary volume covering Australia and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was completed. Other volumes in the Documents on Australian Foreign Policy series under preparation include Australia and Apartheid in South Africa and White Minority Rule in Rhodesia, 1950–1980; Australia and Decolonisation in the South Pacific, 1947–1980; and Australia in War and Peace, 1914–1919.

Archival examination

The department continued to provide advice to the National Archives of Australia on the release of Commonwealth records subject to access requests under Section 40 of the Archives Act 1983. The level of public interest in the department's archival records remained high.

Table 9 below outlines the number of records examined by the department in 2012–13. Of the 971 records examined, we recommended the exemption of one record and the partial exemption of 478 records. We recommended that the remaining 492 records be released in full.

Table 8: Requests processed under the Freedom of Information Act 1982

2010–11
2011–12
2012–13
Requests for information
Access granted in full
26
35
40
Access granted in part
57
84
90
Access refused
21
28
32
Requests transferred or withdrawn
39
57
58
Total
143
204
220
Requests subject to review or legal appeal
Requests for internal review (s.54)
8
9
13
Appeals lodged with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (s.55)
1
0
0
Ombudsman
1
0
0
Requests for review lodged with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
4
9
9

Table 9: Records examined under the Archives Act 1983

2010–11
2011–12
2012–13
Number of records examined
422
1055
971
Number of folios contained in these records
82,413
208,219
196,171

Recordkeeping

The department continued to enhance its information and records management framework to support operations in Australia and overseas. To meet the whole-of-government Digital Transition Policy and the department's information management needs, we upgraded the electronic document and records management system (EDRMS) during 2012–13. EDRMS integration with the department's cable system is well advanced and will deliver significant efficiencies in managing the department's key business information.

We completed 17 records management projects throughout 2012–13, including 11 at overseas posts. Five Canberra records sentencing and disposal projects were concluded. The department continued to implement the Strategic Plan for DFAT Records Management 2008–13, including the archival transfer of the department's files to the National Archives of Australia.

HV Evatt Library

The HV Evatt Library maintained a complete library and information service for departmental staff in Australia and at posts. During the year the library widened the range of published material accessible via electronic reading devices and extended the personalised subject alert service. Work on upgrading the search services to cover local and remote content within a single search continued.

Outlook

The department will continue to inform and engage high-value individuals and organisations overseas, and in Australia, to strengthen understanding of our values, interests and international objectives.

Key themes for the future will be building deeper and broader relationships with Asia, promoting our UNSC priorities and advocating the benefits of global trade liberalisation and reform. Australia's chairing of the G20 will provide an invaluable opportunity for public diplomacy activities that reflect our vision on the global economic issues and the lessons learned from Australia's program of economic reform.

The department's key cultural diplomacy festival in 2014 will take place in Indonesia. The program content will encompass the arts, design, sport, science, education and innovation which will create a platform for cultural exchange, business networking, trade and tourism promotion and people-level linkages.

We will launch a new documentary history, Australia and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, 1945–74.