Foreign Minister to attend first G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting

Media release

Brisbane

18 February 2012

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd departs tomorrow for the first G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting.

"The G20 played a crucial role in avoiding the worst impacts of the first global economic crisis," Mr Rudd said.

"It is a vital forum for addressing current global economic challenges and their wider ramifications. The Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Mexico will focus on the social and political dimensions of economic crisis.

"The G20 has a leadership role to play to get the global economy back on track to create jobs and minimise the human impacts of economic uncertainty," Mr Rudd said.

Mr Rudd is scheduled to have a number of meetings on the sidelines of the G20 meeting, including with US Secretary of State Clinton.

Mr Rudd will visit Washington DC to meet senior Obama Administration officials including Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. He will also address the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

In London, Mr Rudd will speak at the Conference on Somalia on 23 February.

"Somalia's instability fuels serious trans-national crime, including terrorism and piracy," said Mr Rudd.

"The economic costs of piracy in the Gulf of Aden are estimated at some $7 billion each year, a cost borne largely by the shipping industry and governments, and ultimately paid by taxpayers and consumers, including Australians."

Mr Rudd will then join likeminded nations in galvanising support for the people of Syria at the Friends of Syria meeting in Tunis on 24 February.

"Following the UN General Assembly resolution this week, the Tunis meeting is an opportunity for the international community to coordinate responses to the continuing slaughter in Syria," Mr Rudd said.

Mr Rudd will also travel to Malaysia, where he will meet the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dato' Sri Anifah Aman to discuss regional security, trans-national crime, bilateral cooperation and the East Asia Summit.

Media enquiries

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