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 Minister Marise Payne is ticking boxes

05.05.21.  “Secretary of state Madeleine Albright described the US in 1998 as the “indispensable nation”. It was a fair description for those post-Cold War years. Today, we are thinking more of indispensable relationships. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the growing momentum towards deeper co-operation between liberal democracies across the globe. For all the talk about the risks to democracy through internal exhaustion — talk that ranges from loose to sensationalist to tendentious — we should look at the enthusiasm of leading democracies to come together to address the world’s challenges. The benefits of our system of government, and the value in its long-term preservation, have never been clearer.”

Source: Marise Payne for News Corp

Democracies unite in face of world’s challenges

The G7 Plus, to whose Foreign and Development Ministers’ Meeting in London I will travel this week, is embracing additional contributors. It is to the credit of our host, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, that for this G7 Plus meeting he has invited outreach partners Australia, India, South Korea, South Africa and the chair and Secretary-General of ASEAN. And while the values that make us gravitate towards one another are foundational, our focus this week will be practical.
Values and principles form the basis of who we are as international actors, but the currency by which they are translated into overall global good is practical action that improves people’s lives. There is no sense in having people admire democracy and open economies as distant abstractions unless they can see the demonstrable improvements that they make to those people’s lives and those of their families.
Co-operation on development is therefore foremost in our minds as we gather to discuss our agenda. We will discuss issues including delivering equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, promoting human rights, food security and climate change. I am particularly appreciative of the emphasis that my friend and colleague Secretary Raab has placed on the education of women and girls as part of this meeting.
Our focus and our ability to solve practical problems stem from our understanding that these efforts create regional and global stability, not because by doing so we expect to achieve targeted influence in individual countries that we pick off as notches on our belts.
We share the positives of the valued outcomes among ourselves. We do not try to buy influence to advantage our individual countries; rather, we know that a stable, secure neighbourhood of sovereign states, in which we have networks of familiarity and trust, are good, safe places for our people to live and thrive.
If there is a spreading of influence here, it is the spreading of openness, freedom and trade that benefits everybody because we compete fairly based on rules. It is not a mercantilist approach, rather one that seeks to support a productive and peaceful inter­national community.
A nation whose people are healthy, socially cohesive, resilient to negative outside influence and open to international co-operation is a country with whom others can work with confidence.
The G7 Plus this week will be followed by the G7 Plus leaders’ meeting in June, which the Prime Minister will attend. The willingness of the traditional powers of the G7 — whose roots date back to 1975 — to expand the attendance list shows their appreciation that longstanding international groupings with historical roots must adapt to shifting political circumstances and interests, and emerging centres of power. Understanding and harnessing these new geopolitical realities are our best chance at sustaining these fundamental values and rejuvenating our processes for putting them to practical application.
The inclusion of ASEAN is positive and pleasing, a grouping that sits at the core of our vision for a free, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific. ASEAN’s role in seeking a peaceful return to civilian rule following the coup and appalling bloodshed in Myanmar shows the essential role it plays in the stability of Australia’s region.
After the G7 Plus, I will visit Geneva to promote our values and interests in a multilateral system grappling with a global health and economic problem that requires our leadership to ensure stability, prosperity and sovereignty. No friend of Australia’s is more central to this grand project than the US, which underscores the importance of my meetings with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other US officials in Washington following Geneva.
When it comes to indispensable relationships, there is no keystone of the architecture I have described that is more indispensable than the Australia-US alliance. We welcome the Biden administration’s assurance that it will continue the US’s determination to lead globally — and to define leadership as bringing the rest of the world with it on key principles of international relations that seek to raise all standards of living and make all people’s lives safer and more secure.
We have much to discuss with the US, including the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Our discussions in London and Washington will lay the groundwork for efforts that can complement the work already being done by the Quad grouping of countries to facilitate access to vaccines in the Pacific and Southeast Asia and contribute to these countries’ economic recovery plans.
The spike in cases in India and the enormous human toll show how vigilant we must be and how ready to support each other we must remain. The Quad countries will continue working together in support of our respective and collective priorities.
Regional security, fighting disinformation and coercion, women’s empowerment, and promoting open societies and economies in the Indo-Pacific will be high on our agenda.
Strengthening and expanding these friendships — including through this vital face-to-face diplomacy — is critical to the interests of the Australian people. As the world becomes more competitive for our nation, our businesses and our people, governments around the world have come to appreciate more acutely that foreign policy starts at home and must demonstrably serve their people.
We are clear that the long-term fight for open, liberal democracy, free trade and freedom benefits the large majorities of families and businesses of our nations that form the critical mass of our successful economies.
We co-operate as friends but nonetheless each represents our own sovereign interests. Australia’s interests will, as always, be at the forefront of my mind. They will be well served by our having a seat at these tables where the global rules are being discussed, shaped and improved.
Senator Marise Payne is Foreign Affairs Minister and Minister for Women.

Video source: Sky News

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Uber 05/05/2021, 7:10 am

    This is pure socialism.

    • Bwana Neusi 05/05/2021, 5:27 pm

      With a helpful spoonful of “Ra RA RAh”

  • Cotter Pin 05/05/2021, 7:41 am

    “ And while the values that make us gravitate towards one another are foundational, our focus this week will be practical.”
    Whatever that means.
    At best it means “Whatever our bullshit ‘values’ are, they will play no part in discussions.”
    But when there are also phrases like “the core of our vision” I believe I have been too generous in trying to make any sense out of the document.

  • Penguinite 05/05/2021, 7:55 am

    Sadly, The USA is fast losing its Democratic Lable and with it the Judeo-Christian ethic. Marxist Socialism beckons. Minister Payne is no Ruth so invoking her refrain “whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people” is pointless! The Bear and the Dragon have united to subjugate the World.

  • Maryanne 05/05/2021, 7:56 am

    I was just musing yesterday that I grew up in a proud, independent and pretty-well self sufficient nation. All gone. Now people are taught to be ashamed of their country and its history; our freedom to act is limited by myriad UN treaties and agreements; and our people have been deskilled and nearly everything we buy is imported Asian crap even to much of our food and toiletries such as soap and toothpaste.

    Maybe somebody can explain why Australia exports pasta and tinned tomatoes while simultaneously imports pasta and tinned tomatoes? How can that be environmentally let alone economically sound?

    • John 05/05/2021, 8:23 am

      Me too Maryanne, every Monday at school assembly we sang “God save the Queen” and each and every child there knew we were the best country in the world. Almost certainly each and every Teacher did too, but yes as you say, all gone.
      Could be wrong here but maybe the pasta and tomatoes we export are premium with a premium price and the pasta and tomatoes we import are second rate with a second rate price. So we get second rate products while the foreign owned companies make a premium by selling our premium products overseas. Like I said, could be wrong, I seem to be getting more cynical the older I get.

      • luk1955 05/05/2021, 8:33 am

        No you are right John. Our top meat is sold overseas and we get the less than top stuff sold in our markets at home. A work mate of mine told me this because his brother is engaged in said shipping practices. All this goes back to the Lima Agreement signed in 1973 that dictates removal of our manufacturing operations to third world barbarians.

      • Cliff 05/05/2021, 8:44 am

        When I lived in the Middle East, we could buy premium Australian lamb in the supermarket there cheaper than it cost in Australia.

      • Disgruntled 05/05/2021, 10:06 am

        I agree with Maryanne and all the others in this comment;
        It really makes one sad, in fact real sad and it is hard to really understand how things do happen; That is if one is a practical person!

  • Cliff 05/05/2021, 8:42 am

    In politics, perception is damn near everything.

    With that in mind, I take one look at the photograph above of Marise Payne and I find myself thinking, (perhaps unfairly, but see para 1 above) that if I was about to place my son or daughter in a new school and when I turned up for the pre-admission interview, Ms Payne was the headmistress/principal, I’d go in search of another school.

    Which is a long-winded way of saying: would you buy a used car from the lady?

    She may be a wholly admirable person in many different ways, but she does NOT fill me with confidence as the Foreign Minister of my country.

    • Lorraine 05/05/2021, 8:55 am

      we are invited to sit at the table, we will not be given a vote. While Marise Payne keeps the Commonwealth safer ,with the scrapping of belt and road agreements ,and next the port of Darwin, in my opinion she is far better than The Julia Bishop and her love of the UN and all the trappings Malcolm Turnbull craved. far far better

      • Cliff 05/05/2021, 9:03 am

        Lorraine, Sarah Hanson-****Young would be better than Julie Bishop!

      • Disgruntled 05/05/2021, 10:11 am

        haha Cliff; It was alleged that SHY loved shaggin; at least that has to be a bonus??

        And she had a pretty good imagination as well!

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