Australian Government - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally

Australian Government - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Advancing the interests of Australia and Australians internationally



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

Program 1.1: Foreign Affairs and Trade operations

Program 1.1 Objective

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

Program 1.1 Deliverables

  • A heightened role for Australia in promoting non-proliferation and disarmament of weapons of mass destruction and other arms control efforts, including through the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND).
  • Effective coordination of whole-of-government approaches to counter-terrorism programs and activities outside Australia, encompassing South-East Asia, South Asia and elsewhere, and also in concert with broader multilateral efforts.
  • Effective whole-of-government efforts to promote stability and development in Afghanistan including on Afghan detainee management.
  • Continued strong engagement with the United Nations (UN), and international support for Australia’s election to the UN Security Council for the 2013–14 term.
  • Effective whole-of-government efforts in bilateral and regional diplomacy to counter people smuggling, in particular through the Bali Process on People Smuggling and Trafficking.
  • Effective advocacy to strengthen good governance and democracy, including advocacy of human rights.
  • Support for Australia’s engagement in the Commonwealth, including as host of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth in 2011, and as a member of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group.
  • Provision of advice relating to compliance with international legal obligations, and an effective contribution to the development of a strong international legal framework.
  • Effective contributions that advance Australia’s climate change and environment objectives, including in relation to:
    • promoting effective international climate change action consistent with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Copenhagen Accord, and developing international engagement strategies through bilateral links and multilateral forums;
    • hosting the 35th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in 2012;
    • stemming illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing; and
    • ending Japan‘s purportedly ‘scientific’ whaling in the Southern Ocean, including initiating legal action in the International Court of Justice against Japan, and modernising the International Whaling Commission.
  • Strong leadership in advancing Australia’s multilateral trade and economic interests, including:
    • effective participation in the World Trade Organization (WTO), including through the Doha Round;
    • strong leadership of the Cairns Group of agricultural exporting countries; and
    • effective contribution to resolving global financial and economic policy challenges through the G20 process.
  • Effective leadership in advancing Australia’s free trade agreement (FTA) agenda, including negotiating and implementing FTAs, and exploring opportunities for new FTAs.
  • Further contributing to the development of Australia’s strong alliance with the United States by building on economic, strategic, defence and intelligence cooperation, and enhancing high-level political engagement, including through mechanisms such as ministerial consultations.
  • A stronger partnership with Europe, including through:
    • effective cooperation on economic, development and security issues under the Australia–EU Partnership Framework Agreement;
    • membership of the ASEM process;
    • engagement with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and – as an Asian Partner – with the OSCE; and
    • closer cooperation on global economic and security challenges with our major European partners.
  • Continued strong relations with Canada.
  • Strong relations with North Asia, including:
    • Japan, China and the Republic of Korea.
  • Strong relations with South Asia, particularly:
    • India through high-level political and economic engagement;
    • Pakistan through counter-terrorism and law enforcement cooperation and development assistance; and
    • engagement with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.
  • An advanced role for Australia in the Asia-Pacific, including by:
    • contributing to the enhancement of regional architecture including through the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, East Asia Summit and the objectives of the Asia Pacific community initiative; and
    • building on regional economic and trade reform efforts.
  • Reinvigoration of Australia’s engagement with Pacific island countries to meet common challenges and raise living standards in the region, including effective coordination of whole-of-government approaches to the Government’s Enhanced Pacific Engagement Strategy, as well as through:
    • supporting Australia’s role in the Pacific Islands Forum including on climate change, fisheries, regional institution integration, renewable energy and other priorities agreed by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders at their August 2009 meeting in Cairns;
    • implementing and building regional and international support for the Cairns Compact on Strengthening Development Coordination in the Pacific;
    • negotiating Pacific Partnerships for Development and Security Partnerships;
    • supporting implementation of the Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme; and
    • advancing regional trade and economic integration through Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus negotiations.
  • Encouragement of an early return to democracy in Fiji, including through working with international partners.
  • Continued promotion of stability, security and prosperity in Papua New Guinea (PNG), including by:
    • working with the PNG government to ensure the LNG project lives up to its potential and benefits all regions and people of PNG; and
    • supporting PNG efforts to manage security and related challenges.
  • Promotion of political stability, economic growth and security in the region, including through program support and cooperation activities in:
    • East Timor
    • Solomon Islands through effective leadership of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI);
    • Tonga, through support for democratic and governance reforms including the elections in late 2010; and
    • Vanuatu, through support for strengthening governance.
  • Further deepening of our important and wide-ranging relationship with New Zealand.
  • Stronger relations with Latin America and the Caribbean through trade and investment, multilateral cooperation and high-level contact.
  • Stronger relations with the countries of Africa and the African Union through trade and investment, multilateral cooperation and high-level contact.
  • Enhanced engagement with the Arab League and its member states.
  • Strong support for peace and stability in the Middle East, and advancing our trade and economic interests in the region.
  • Closer engagement with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and its member states, including through establishment of an Australia–GCC Foreign Ministers Strategic Dialogue.
  • High-quality public diplomacy, international media and cultural visit programs which promote an image of Australia and Australian government policies that are accurate, positive and contemporary.
  • Effective consultation and liaison with, and provision of advice to, external clients on portfolio and whole-of-government issues, particularly trade issues. External clients include members of parliament, state and territory governments, industry and business representatives, non-government organisations (NGOs) and members of the public.
  • Effective leadership of, and provision of advice and support to, other government agencies at overseas missions, in line with the Prime Minister’s Directive on the Guidelines for the Management of the Australian Government Presence Overseas and service level agreements.
  • Quality service and support by overseas missions to high-level Australian visitors and their delegations, including members of parliament, state premiers, and senior officials.
  • High-quality service and support to the diplomatic and consular corps serving in Australia, including with respect to the facilitation of accreditation and diplomatic visas, and the security and protection of the dignity of diplomatic missions and their personnel.
  • Leadership in strengthening Australia’s scholarship programs under the Australia Awards initiative aimed at maximising their benefit to Australia.
  • Administration of the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) National Interest Account (under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997).
  • Management of cases of compensation for detriment caused by defective administration.
  • Maintenance of a clear and accurate record of the department’s business.

Program 1.1 Key performance indicators

  • The department’s delivery of policy advice to Ministers and high-level clients is well-judged, timely, accurate, well-coordinated, and in support of Australia’s national interests.
  • The department’s advocacy, negotiation and liaison with stakeholders on Australia’s political, security and economic interests is effective, collaborative and persuasive in encouraging an understanding of, and alignment towards, Australia’s policy positions, and Australia’s interests in these areas are advanced.
  • The department’s leadership in counter-terrorism and non-proliferation and disarmament efforts is effective, collaborative and persuasive, promotes compliance with international non-proliferation obligations, and contributes positively to regional and international outcomes that help ensure the security and prosperity of Australians.
  • The department’s work multilaterally to address global challenges and advance Australia’s interests is effective, collaborative and persuasive, and contributes towards outcomes that promote peace and prosperity.
  • The department assists in maintaining a high level of Australian compliance with international legal obligations through provision of appropriate advice, and the department’s advocacy contributes positively toward the development of a strong international legal framework.
  • The department’s advancement of bilateral, regional and multilateral trade interests is effective, consultative and persuasive, and contributes positively to advancing Australia’s trade interests, by improving market access and Australia’s trade competitiveness, thereby expanding trade and investment opportunities for Australia.
  • The department’s efforts to maintain and strengthen bilateral and regional relationships are effective and timely, delivering support for Australia’s foreign and trade policy objectives, and increased linkages and opportunities for substantive engagement through both formal and informal channels.
  • The department’s delivery of public diplomacy, cultural and media programs is efficient, resourceful, well-targeted and accurate, and assists in the promotion of a contemporary and positive understanding of Australia and the Government’s foreign and trade policies.
  • Government agencies at overseas missions are satisfied with the level of DFAT service provided in accordance with the Prime Minister’s Directive on the Guidelines for the Management of the Australian Government Presence Overseas and the relevant service level agreement in place.
  • High-level Australian visitors overseas are satisfied with the level of logistical and administrative support provided by overseas missions (including with the timeliness and efficiency of support), with the depth of local knowledge and contacts, and the relevance of on-the-ground policy advice to their visit objectives.
  • The diplomatic and consular corps posted or accredited to Australia is satisfied with the level of service provided, including in terms of responsiveness and timeliness in resolving issues and meeting Australia’s obligations under the Vienna Conventions.
  • Consolidated, coordinated and coherent scholarship programs are delivered under the Australia Awards brand.
  • The department’s management of its recordkeeping systems supports the organisation’s operational requirements and is in accordance with relevant legislative requirements.
  • Effective contribution to Australia’s case against Japan’s whaling in the International Court of Justice.
  • Consistent with Government policy on Afghanistan, undertake regular visits to Australian-apprehended detainees, submit reports on all such visits and build a database for reporting purposes.

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