Australia is committed to doing its share toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals, Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said in a recent speech where he also announced the country’s bid for one of the non-permanent seats of the U.N. Security Council.
Rudd stressed that Australian aid is becoming increasingly crucial to global poverty reduction programs, particularly in East Asia and South Pacific.
“That is why we are increasing our ODA to 0.5 percent of GNI by 2015,” Rudd said in a speech he delivered before the National Press Club in Canberra. “That’s why we have as a result increased our international development assistance in the last budget in order to step up to that target.”
In his speech, Rudd outlined his priorities for Australia’s current foreign policy, including helping sustain the political momentum of the G-20 and pushing for a broader G-20 development agenda.
“That’s why we continue to fashion ‘coalitions of the policy-willing’ to drive the G20 policy agenda,” Rudd said. “That’s why in my own portfolio’s case, we are working intimately with the French and others on detailing the G20 development agenda, including food security. Because if the developing world loses confidence in the G20, its credibility as a global institution reflecting the new global economic realities between developed and major developing economies will collapse.”
Rudd also stressed Australia’s commitment to supporting long-term development in Asia and the Pacific, maintaining an active role in the United Nations and other international institutions, and supporting a global climate change and greenhouse gas emission agreement, among other priorities.
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