The Council for Australian–Arab Relations (CAAR) was established on 1 January 2003 by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon. Alexander Downer MP, and the Minister for Trade, The Hon. Mark Vaile MP. The Council held its first meeting in March 2003.
The Council for Australian–Arab Relations aims to promote between the peoples of Australia and the Arab world mutual interests and a greater understanding and acceptance of each others' cultures, values, beliefs and diversity.
The CAAR will
- create partnerships which promote people-to-people links with Australia in countries of the Arab region
- promote the mutual exchange of information and ideas of excellence between Australia and Arab countries
- develop and promote the engagement of youth between the regions.
Each year the Council will develop an annual business plan of activities.
Council priorities for the three-year period ending 30 June 2009 will include
- activities that promote Australia as a modern and sophisticated society and a competitive and highquality destination for a range of interests that would include education, tourism, sporting activities and investment in those industries where Australia enjoys a strong international advantage
- promoting and supporting exchanges by young professional and business leaders in Australia and the Arab world
- annual visits by a CAAR delegation to a range of Arab countries, to identify potential for the region and opportunities for Australia
- support for public diplomacy and cultural activities that showcase Australia as a diverse and dynamic society
- other activities that encourage suitable commercial sponsorships for CAAR-supported projects.