The Australian Government congratulates the Cook Islands on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary of Self Government on 4 August.
Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss will represent the Government at this auspicious event.
Australia established diplomatic relations with the Cook Islands in 1994. Leaders and deputy leaders from Pacific nations, and representatives from 48 countries with established relations with the Cook Islands, will attend the anniversary in Rarotonga.
Australia’s strong relationship with the Cook Islands is based on shared membership of the Pacific Islands Forum, an aid program focused on clean water, education and gender, and the Cook Islands' participation in the Pacific Patrol Boat Program. There is a substantial Cook Islands community in Australia and more than 17,000 Australians visit the Cook Islands every year.
While in the Cook Islands, Mr Truss will pass over to the Government of the Cook Islands the keys to a new specially equipped school minibus for disabled children on behalf of Australia to mark the Anniversary.
The Cook Islands is a leader in disability rights in the Pacific. The bus will supplement existing Australian disability initiatives in the Cook Islands and the Cook Islands Disability Development Policy and Action Plan, which it announced in July.
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