Today I met with United Nations Development Program Administrator Helen Clark to discuss how Australia and the UNDP can further collaborate to reduce poverty, empower women and build stronger democratic institutions.

We also discussed the humanitarian toll being exacted by ISIL, the civil war in Syria and Iraq and what more the international community can do to assist, and the international response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Australia will provide more than $21 million to the UNDP this year to support its vital work around the world.

Ms Clark is the first female head of the UNDP and as a former Prime Minister of New Zealand, understands the development challenges in our neighbourhood.

Australia and UNDP are long-standing partners, working together to support elections in Solomon Islands and Fiji, tackle gender-based violence in Papua New Guinea and to support peace and reconciliation in Bougainville.

In Afghanistan, we are supporting stronger law and order, while in Indonesia and Timor Leste we are working together to support the development of stronger governance institutions.

The UNDP has played a key role in implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and around a quarter of its budget is spent to support Australia’s region.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop standing with UNDP Program Administrator Helen Clark

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