(As Issued By The National Press Club, 29
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer will present the National
Press Club Telstra Address on Wednesday, 1 December.
Mr Downer says the last few years of this century have seen
an historic shift in Australia's foreign policy.
"There have been changes in how we have seen the region
and how the region has seen us," Mr Downer says.
"These are the years that I am sure historians will regard
as the time when Australia ceased being a regional 'demandeur',
desperately seeking praise and attention, and instead became
a real and respected regional contributor."
Mr Downer says this year has seen Australia play a constructive
role in helping in the resolution of the East Timor issue, watching
Indonesia move towards democracy and assisting the region continue
the road to recovery after the economic crisis.
"It is the year which has seen Australia win respect
for the roles it has played," Mr Downer says.
"It is also the year that has laid the platform for Australia
to build on into the next century as a real contributor to our
Lunch will be served at noon with Mr Downer to speak from