Annual Report 2008-2009

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OUTPUT 1.1: Protection and advocacy of Australia’s international interests through the provision of policy advice to ministers and overseas diplomatic activity


To protect and advance the national interest, the department will engage in effective advocacy and overseas diplomatic activity to promote Australia’s international political, security, economic and multilateral interests. It will ensure the accurate and timely provision of policy advice to ministers to meet the challenges of an unpredictable international environment.

Key Performance Indicators 2008–09 Target
  • Deepening of Australia’s relationship with the United States
  • Strengthen further our alliance with the United States by continued strategic, defence and intelligence cooperation

  • Influence the development of US strategic, foreign and trade policy through high-level political engagement, including ministerial visits, the Australia–United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) and the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) Joint Committee
  • Enhancement of Australia’s security through contributions to national, regional and international efforts to promote a more stable regional and global security environment
  • Strengthen engagement with the United Nations, including by building support for Australia’s bid for election to the UN Security Council in 2013–2014

  • Strengthen non-proliferation regimes by enhancing Australia’s role in international non-proliferation and disarmament efforts, including the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament

  • Deliver effective policy coordination on whole-of-government approaches to Afghanistan and Iraq

  • Advance coordination on key regional issues through the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue

  • Build support for Australian inclusion in any regional security mechanisms arising from the Six-Party Talks

  • Advance Australia’s international Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear counter-terrorism programs and strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation and capacity building with key partners

  • Strengthen whole-of-government efforts for regional cooperation on people smuggling
  • Enhancement of engagement with the Asia-Pacific region
  • Develop further strong relations with Japan, including under the Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation, advance economic, political and strategic relations with China and enhance relations with the Republic of Korea

  • Strengthen relations in South Asia, particularly through high-level political engagement, stronger institutional and economic links with India and by broadening relations with Pakistan

  • Strengthen ties with the countries of South-East Asia, notably with Indonesia by building on the Framework for Security Cooperation, and relations with ASEAN

  • Enhance the role of the East Asia Summit in East Asian economic integration

  • Participate effectively in APEC and other regional forums to build support for freer trade, make practical improvements in the business environment and encourage economic reform in the Asia-Pacific region

  • Strengthen relations with Pacific island countries, particularly through long-term Pacific Partnerships and effective coordination to implement the Government’s enhanced Pacific engagement strategy

  • Promote political stability and economic growth in the region, including in East Timor, and in Solomon Islands through effective leadership of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI)

  • Deepen economic and social integration with New Zealand

  • Conclusion of consultations by the Special Envoy and finalisation of the initial report to Government on the prospects for an Asia Pacific community
  • Advancement of Australia’s national interests with partners in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa
  • Progress towards a new policy framework for practical cooperation with the European Union (EU) on economic and security interests

  • Advance Australia–United Kingdom links, including cooperation on shared defence and security interests, and the promotion of strategies to address regional and global problems

  • Strengthen ties with the Middle East and make practical contributions to the Middle East peace process

  • Sustain momentum in the relationship with Canada and deepen relations with key Latin American partners

  • Strengthen engagement with Africa
  • Contribution to national prosperity through improved access to overseas markets for Australian business through multilateral, bilateral, regional means; efforts to maintain and strengthen the multilateral trading system; and effective use of the WTO to protect and pursue Australia’s trade interests
  • Progress towards an ambitious outcome to the WTO Doha Round that delivers commercially-worthwhile outcomes on agriculture, industrial products and services

  • Maintain Australia’s influence in the WTO negotiations, including through leadership of the Cairns Group, participation in smaller groups and dialogue with key members

  • Defend any WTO challenges on quarantine, use the WTO dispute settlement system to advance Australian trade objectives, and provide high-quality legal advice on WTO obligations

  • Develop strategies to ensure FTAs support the multilateral trading system, including through enhanced WTO oversight of FTAs

  • Progress current FTA negotiations, implement existing FTAs effectively and examine the merits of new bilateral FTAs, including through feasibility studies

  • Progress the PACER Plus Pacific trade liberalisation negotiations

  • Assist with the completion of the comprehensive review of export policies and programs and consider the review’s findings
  • Promotion of outcomes to international deliberations on global environmental and energy-related issues consistent with Australian policy positions
  • Maintain high-level pressure on Japan to halt its ‘scientific’ whaling program

  • Maintain high-level pressure on whaling nations and promote whale conservation, including by supporting the Special Envoy for Whale Conservation

  • Contribute to the launch of post-2012 global agreement on climate change

  • Ensure trade and environment outcomes are mutually supportive

  • Work with other agencies to enhance procedures for handling illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing in Australia’s fishing zone and progress ‘Niue Plus’ Pacific regional fisheries enforcement cooperation negotiations
  • Contribution to the development of a strong international legal framework
  • Satisfy all treaty and statutory obligations

  • Intensify advocacy of the importance of an international rules-based system

  • Adopt a more active role and involvement in international institutions and multilateral forums
  • Encouragement of wider international application of universal human rights standards, democratic principles and good governance
  • Support efforts to enhance the effectiveness of the Human Rights Council

  • Advocate human rights bilaterally, regionally and in international forums

  • Strengthen advocacy of good governance and democracy

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