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Thursday, 12 May 2011
Page: 2559

United Nations

(Question No. 558)


Senator Johnston asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 25 March 2011:

With reference to the reception for United Nations' representatives from African Union countries, held by the Prime Minister during the March 2010 visit to the United States of America:

(1)   Which countries: (a) were represented; and (b) declined to attend.

(2)   (a)    What was the total cost of the reception; and (b) what was the average cost per attendee.

(3)   Where was the event held, and what was the cost of hiring the venue.

(4)   Was entertainment provided; if so, at what cost.

(5)   What food and beverages were served, including the names of any alcoholic beverages served.

(6)   Were any gifts provided to guests; if so: (a) what were they; (b) to whom were they provided; and (c) at what cost.

(7)   How many people from the Prime Minister's entourage attended.

(8)   How many consular staff members were responsible for organising the event, including how many hours they spent on the event.

(9)   What was the cost of advertising and printing associated with the reception.


Senator Conroy: The Minister for Foreign Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) (a) Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe. (b) The meeting was organised by the Office of the Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations. We are not aware of any countries declining to attend. However, Malawi and Sao Tome and Principe were not present.

(2) (a) USD825.96 for interpretation services, paper and postage of letters. (b) The average cost to Australia per Africa Group participant was USD16.20 (825.96 divided by 51 African representatives).

(3) The Office of the Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations, 305 East 47th Street, 5th Floor, 3 Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, New York, N.Y. 10017. No cost.

(4) No.

(5) None.

(6) No.

(7) Seven.

(8) The meeting was organised by the Office of the Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations. Three staff from the Australian Permanent Mission to the United Nations were involved at different times in liaising with the Office of the Permanent Observer of the African Union on various aspects.

Approximately 10 hours of staff time was spent on liaison with the African Union ahead of this meeting.

(9) USD25.96 for postage stamps and paper for letters.