MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
15 September 1999
Australia Welcomes Kiribati, Nauru and Tonga to United Nations
I am delighted to have been able to be present at the United Nations General Assembly in New York to welcome the admission of Kiribati, Nauru and Tonga as new members of the United Nations. Their admission brings total UN membership to 188.
Australia has long-standing and friendly relations with Kiribati, Nauru and Tonga. Wide-ranging ties exist, particularly in development assistance, defence cooperation and people-to-people links.
Australia together with Kiribati, Nauru and Tonga have worked together very closely as members of the South Pacific Forum and the Commonwealth. I am pleased that now that Kiribati, Nauru and Tonga are full members of the United Nations, we will have a new opportunity to work together, striving to achieve the United Nations' common goals of peace and development.
Australia is pleased to have been able, over the years, to help fund the Commonwealth Small Island States Office in New York so Pacific states can afford to be represented here. Australia has also provided training attachments at our United Nations Mission for new UN members from the Pacific.
I encourage active participation by Pacific island states in UN matters so that their voices can be heard more widely.
Minister - Innes Willox 02 6277 7500
Department - Tony Melville 02 6261 1555
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