The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd, and the United States
Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, today released The Melbourne Statement to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and
the United States.
"The Melbourne Statement reaffirms the fundamental commitment of both our
nations to our enduring partnership and our resolve to continue working
closely together to meet the challenges of the 21st century," said Mr Rudd.
Australia and the United States share common interests, but also more
deeply, share the bond of common values.
"As a reflection of our common values, today Secretary Clinton and I
announced a partnership to address the global problem of violence against
women," said Mr Rudd.
Under the partnership, Australia and the United States fully endorsed the
establishment of the new global institution, 'UN Women', and the
appointment of former Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet, to lead it.
Australia will provide A$14.5 million to UN Women over two years from 2011
to support international efforts to empower women and promote equality.
Under the partnership, Australia and the United States also announced a set
of initiatives to work together to prevent and respond to violence against
women in the Asia Pacific region.
"Without promoting and protecting the rights of women and girls, we will
not see real progress towards all the Millennium Development Goals," said
Joint efforts between Australia and the United States to address violence
against women will complement a broader strategic partnership agreed
between AusAID and USAID to work together to reduce poverty and achieve the
Millennium Development Goals.
The AusAID/USAID partnership will focus initially on eliminating violence
against women, fighting HIV/AIDs, improving maternal and child health and
enhancing food security.
Australia will contribute A$5 million to a US$14.7 million USAID-led health
improvement project in East Timor.
"This project is an example of how the Australia and the United States will
work together to improve development outcomes in our region," said Mr Rudd.
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