On 26 December 2004, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake struck off the west coast of Sumatra and resulted in one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. The earthquake (followed by the tsunami) was felt simultaneously in Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Burma, Thailand, Singapore and the Maldives.
Tariff elimination on trade between Japan and Australia will start on 15 January 2015, the date JAEPA enters into force.
The Australian Government acknowledges the contribution of current and returned Australian volunteers to Australia's aid program on International Volunteer Day.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs launched the Department's Consular Strategy 2014-16 at Parliament House in Canberra on 3 December 2014. The Strategy outlines a model to maintain a first-class consular service that is efficient and cost-effective while prioritising assistance to those Australians who need it the most.
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Australia: United Nations Security Council 2013-2014
Australia will serve on the United Nations Security Council during 2013 and 2014.