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Indian Ocean



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T O ) ____ _ _ _

* MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS No. M91 Date 20 June 1984

INDIAN OCEAN

NEWS RELEASE Embargoed to 1500 hrs AEST

The Minister for Foreign A f f a ir s / Mr B i l l Hayden MR/ยท is to deliv e r

a speech to the Australian In s t it u t e of In te rn atio n a l A ffa ir s in Perth

on 20 June 1984 on the Indian Ocean. The following is a summary of that

speech: (Full text attached)

The Indian Ocean does not r e a lly have a clear id e n t it y . I t is

a region with a great variety of sub regions. I t is an area where 1/3

of the world's population lives in or close to circumstances of great

social and economic deprivation. I t is under enormous strain from the

pressures of post colonialism/ underdevelopment and racism. I t is beset by p o l i t i c a l / socio-economic/ sectarian and dynastic differences and i t s regional organisations are f r a g il e . Many of the world's p o t e n t ia l/ and

perhaps actual/ nuclear p ro life ra to rs live th e re . This nuclear

i n s t a b i l i t y invites evermore intense in te re st from greater powers.

Conflict is a fact of l i f e . The so-called "arc of i n s t a b i li t y "

stretching from North Africa around to the Indian subcontinent has been a scene of almost continuous h o s t i li t i e s since World War I I .

Australia has legitimate interests in the Indian Ocean region

which need to be promoted and protected. C iv il a v ia tio n / foreign trade/

the impact of events in Indian Ocean countries on t h e ir immigrant communities in A u stralia/ super power tensions and disarmament.

There is no one Indian Ocean issue or problem -

. a l l of them are the cause and/or the e ffe c t of others

. the region has been undergoing a process of organic change and a kind of subcontinental d r i f t

. very l i t t l e of this change has been the d ire c t result

of global imperative/ but rather of more domestic ones

Relations with India have been allowed to d r i f t . We have f a ile d

to recognise the scale of India's performance. I t has the p otential to

become a significant global power.

The ways by which the Government's p r i o r i t i e s for the Indian Ocean region might be realised include -

. the more r e a lis t ic basis of allo cating o f f i c i a l aid

. a higher Australian-profi le around the Indian Ocean

. establishment of a Zone of Peace in the Indian Ocean

. continuation in the meantime of appropriate support

to Western interests in the region.