Transcript of doorstop: ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting

Subjects: Global food security; renewable energy; Hungary

Transcript, E&OE, proof only

Gödöllõ, Hungary

6 June 2011

Mr Rudd: Well I think one of the important considerations for the Foreign Ministers of Asia and the Foreign Ministers of Europe is global food security.

This is a huge debate right across the world, and we in Australia are working on practical things like agricultural technology, but this is a big challenge.

We have more demand for food in the world than we currently have supply, and we have a responsibility for the planet to show the leadership to fix this problem, otherwise we're going to have a crisis.

Journalist: And are you going to talk about energy efficiency and the security of energy matters. Do you have any ways to promote something different besides nuclear energy?

Mr Rudd: Well in Australia we do not have civil nuclear power, even though we have the largest uranium reserves in the world. And the reason is, we believe we have a range of alternative energy sources, whether it's all the renewable energy sources, including geothermal, including solar, including wind, including tidal, including wave energy; these are the areas where we concentrate our efforts in the future as we boost our renewable energy, but I'm sure our colleagues from across the world will face similar challenges. In China, for example, with whom we have a close relationship, this is a matter of intense debate. China will have, by the next five years, 93 cities with a population of more than five million, they'll have 100 cities with more a population of five or ten million plus — this is huge for the world — so the renewable energy challenge is large for us all.

But apart from all that it's wonderful to be in Budapest. It's my first time here. I saw the Prime Minister this morning. We had a great conversation. We have nearly 100,000 Hungarian Australians who have made wonderful citizens of our country. It's good for me to spend my first time in Hungary.

Journalist: How do you think you will [inaudible] …when you sign this agreement?

Mr Rudd: Well, I'll be signing the Social Security Agreement with my colleague, the Hungarian Foreign Minister, tomorrow.

We're a free country, always have been. During the Communist Period, we opened our doors to, as I said, nearly 100,000 Hungarians.

I went to university with Hungarian Australians. They introduced me to gulyás. They're wonderful people, but they're always free to come and contribute to this country as well.

We look forward to deepening the relationship, particularly the strong business links which are possible. We are located in Asia — the dynamic economies of the 21st century — Hungary is here in central Europe, there are great possibilities for us to work together and using the Hungarian Australian diaspora as a bridge.

ENDS

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