The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP

Media release

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer
Tuesday, 27 June 2000

Senator Marise Payne to Represent the Australian Government at International Democracy Conference

I am pleased to announce that Senator Marise Payne will represent the Australian Government at an international conference dedicated to the promotion of democracy, to be held in Warsaw, 26 -27 June 2000.

The Conference, `Towards a Community of Democracies', is a joint initiative of the Governments of Poland, the Czech Republic, Chile, India, the Republic of Korea, Mali and the United States of America. Its primary objective will be to examine ways of promoting international cooperation in strengthening democratic institutions and practice. The Conference, which represents a milestone for international debate about democracy, human rights and good governance, is expected to adopt a declaration listing core democratic principles and practices.

Hosted by the Polish Foreign Minister, Professor Bronislaw Geremek, the conference has attracted a high level of international support, with over 100 countries and international organisations expected to attend. Dr Madeleine Albright, US Secretary of State, and UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, are among a number of high profile international figures who will participate.

Senator Payne is the Secretary of the Government Members Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade. She is also a member of several Parliamentary Committees including the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee; the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (JSCFADT); the JSCFADT Human Rights Sub-Committee; and the JSCFADT United Nations Sub-Committee. Senator Payne was also a member of the Official Observer Delegation to the East Timorese Popular Consultation in August last year.

Mr Roland Rich, Director of the Centre for Democratic Institutions, will represent Australia at the non-government `World Forum on Democracy', which will also be held in Warsaw, running parallel with the `Towards a Community of Democracies' conference.

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