UN Small Island Developing States Conference - Doorstop interview

  • Transcript, E&OE

JULIE BISHOP: I'mdelighted to be here at this third UN Small Island Developing States Conferenceand it's a wonderful opportunity to not only meet the heads of delegations andrepresentatives but to also discuss with the Prime Minister of Samoa thebilateral relationship between Australia and Samoa.

The session we've just concluded on the private sector is a very importantpart of this forum. Talking about economic growth in the Pacific and otherIsland regions means that we must talk about private sector involvement. Thishas been a very useful beginning to what I believe will be a most successfulconference.

JOURNALIST:I know Australia is a regional leader. Your contribution in pushing the'Genuine Partnership' with countries outside of Australia, outside of theregion?

JULIE BISHOP: Our focusis very much on the Indian Ocean Asia Pacific. The Pacific is an area ofparticular interest of mine. It's a foreign policy priority for theAustralian Government. We're the largest contributor of developmentassistance into the Pacific and we want to make sure that we can build economicpartnerships. We're moving away from the old stereotypes of aid donor –aid recipient. We're building 'genuine economic partnerships' to promoteeconomic growth in a number of ways including the economic empowerment of women.

That's a particular focus and interest of mine and I hope to have theopportunity to discuss some innovative ways that we can do that with theparticipants at this conference.

JOURNALIST:Would Australia consider climate change refugees if it is actually presentedbefore the Conference?

JULIE BISHOP: Australiais very keen to ensure that people live in places where they want to live, thatthey can have opportunities including jobs and that comes from economic growth.So what we're focusing on is making communities sustainable. This is wherepeople live, these are their homes. We want to do what we can to ensurethat through climate change action, through economic growth, we can enablepeople to live where they want to live.

JOURNALIST:How long are you here for?

JULIE BISHOP: I'm hereuntil tomorrow evening, late tomorrow evening. My Parliamentary Secretarywill be here for the whole Conference. Parliament is sitting in Canberraat present so I'm here for two days and then back to the Parliamentary sittingsin Canberra.

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