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 conference.

JOURNALIST: I know Australia is a regional leader. Your contribution in pushing the 'Genuine Partnership' with countries outside of Australia, outside of the region?

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.

JOURNALIST: 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.

JOURNALIST: 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 in Canberra.

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