Kevin Rudd’s Address To UN Bali Conference On Climate Change

Australia now stands ready to assume its responsibility in responding to the challenge of climate change, according to the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.

Addressing the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Bali, Rudd said his first act as Prime Minister had been to sign the formal instrument for Australia to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. This was because “we believe that climate change represents one of the greatest moral, economic and environmental challenges of our age”.

Rudd reiterated his government’s decision to await the Garnaut Review in mid-2008 before deciding on short and medium term targets for reducing greenhouse emissions.

  • Listen to Kevin Rudd’s Address to the Bali Conference (11m)

This is the full text of Kevin Rudd’s Address to the Conference on Climate Change, in Bali.

His Excellency, the President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, His Excellency, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, fellow national Leaders, Ministers, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, and all people of goodwill committed to the future of our planet.

I join with the Secretary-General and with the President of the Indonesian Republic in expressing our combined condemnation of this obscene terrorist attack in Algiers. An attack on innocent civilians, an attack on the agents of peace, those working for the United Nations, and therefore, an attack on us all. And I join with them in extending our thoughts and our prayers to those directly affected by this obscene attack. [Read more…]


Rudd Government Ratifies Kyoto Protocol: First Official Decision

In its first official act, hours after being sworn into office, the Rudd Labor Government has ratified the Kyoto Protocol.

This significant practical and symbolic decision draws another line under the Howard era.

This is the text of a media statement from the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.

Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of AustraliaToday I have signed the instrument of ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. This is the first official act of the new Australian Government, demonstrating my Government’s commitment to tackling climate change.

Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol was considered and approved by the first Executive Council meeting of the Government this morning. The Governor-General has granted his approval for Australia to ratify the Kyoto Protocol at my request. [Read more…]


Howard And Rudd Comment On ASEAN Non-Aggression Treaty

As Prime Minister John Howard flies out to attend the ASEAN Leaders’ Summit, he has commented on the ASEAN Non-Aggression Treaty.

The Opposition’s Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd, also commented on the treaty.

ASEAN is the Association of South-East Asian Nations. The organisation was formed in 1967. Its members are: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), and Vietnam.

Australia and New Zealand attend the Leader’s Summits but neither country is a formal member of ASEAN. [Read more…]


Greater Transparency For Treaty-Making Process

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, has announced changes to the treaty-making process, aimed to provide greater transparency and public accessibility.

The timeframe for parliamentary consultation with interest groups will be extended, and the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties will have a revised procedure for public consultations.

Downer also announced that an Australian Treaties Database with a powerful search engine capability will be formed. [Read more…]


Timor Sea Treaty

The Timor Sea Treaty between Australia and East Timor was signed on May 20, 2002.

In announcing the conclusion of negotiations on May 17, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, had this to say:

Statement from the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer.

DownerI am delighted to announce that yesterday we successfully concluded the negotiations over the Timor Sea Treaty. This Treaty and related documents will open the way for major oil and gas developments in the Timor Sea between Australia and a newly independent East Timor.

Since reaching agreement in July 2001 on a draft Timor Sea Arrangement, negotiations have been under way to turn this into a Treaty and to provide a sound legal framework that will enable commercial development of the resources. The Treaty, an Exchange of Notes on provisional arrangements until entry into force of the Treaty and a Memorandum of Understanding on an International Unitisation Agreement for the Greater Sunrise field will be signed in Dili on 20 May. [Read more…]


International Treaties: Their Impact On Australia

This is the full text of a Keynote Address by Senator the Hon Gareth Evans QC, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the International Treaties Conference, Canberra, 4 September 1995.

Speech by Gareth Evans to the International Treaties Conference.

EvansThis conference on international treaties is certainly timely. Australia’s involvement in treaty making is currently being examined in a number of forums; there is now a Senate Committee looking at the operation of the external affairs power in the Constitution; and there is legislation currently before the Parliament dealing with the effect of treaties on administrative decision making. I think there can be no doubt that treaties do have an important and developing influence on many aspects of Australian society and I want to examine their impact in a little detail. But first I think it would be useful to spend a few moments in considering what treaties actually are, and perhaps more importantly, what they are not. I feel constrained to do so because of the misinformation, some of it quite deliberately spread, which has clouded the whole issue of treaty-making over the last couple of years. [Read more…]


ANZUS Treaty – Full Text

This is the full text of the Security Treaty Between Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America.

The Treaty was signed in San Francisco on September 1, 1951. It came into force on April 29, 1952.

Percy Spender, Minister for External Affairs in the Menzies government, signed on behalf of the Australian government. [Read more…]