JULIE BISHOP: I'm
delighted to be here at this third UN Small Island Developing States Conference
and it's a wonderful opportunity to not only meet the heads of delegations and
representatives but to also discuss with the Prime Minister of Samoa the
bilateral relationship between Australia and Samoa.
The session we've just concluded on the private sector is a very important
part of this forum. Talking about economic growth in the Pacific and other
Island regions means that we must talk about private sector involvement. This
has been a very useful beginning to what I believe will be a most successful
I know Australia is a regional leader. Your contribution in pushing the
'Genuine Partnership' with countries outside of Australia, outside of the
JULIE BISHOP: Our focus
is very much on the Indian Ocean Asia Pacific. The Pacific is an area of
particular interest of mine. It's a foreign policy priority for the
Australian Government. We're the largest contributor of development
assistance into the Pacific and we want to make sure that we can build economic
partnerships. We're moving away from the old stereotypes of aid donor –
aid recipient. We're building 'genuine economic partnerships' to promote
economic growth in a number of ways including the economic empowerment of women.
That's a particular focus and interest of mine and I hope to have the
opportunity to discuss some innovative ways that we can do that with the
participants at this conference.
Would Australia consider climate change refugees if it is actually presented
before the Conference?
JULIE BISHOP: Australia
is very keen to ensure that people live in places where they want to live, that
they can have opportunities including jobs and that comes from economic growth.
So what we're focusing on is making communities sustainable. This is where
people live, these are their homes. We want to do what we can to ensure
that through climate change action, through economic growth, we can enable
people to live where they want to live.
How long are you here for?
JULIE BISHOP: I'm here
until tomorrow evening, late tomorrow evening. My Parliamentary Secretary
will be here for the whole Conference. Parliament is sitting in Canberra
at present so I'm here for two days and then back to the Parliamentary sittings
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