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Downer to visit Chile for APEC.



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MEDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER

FA156 17 November 2004

DOWNER TO VISIT CHILE FOR APEC

I will visit Santiago, Chile, from 17-19 November for the Sixteenth APEC Joint Ministerial Meeting.

At the ministerial meeting, I will encourage continued development of APEC’s counter-terrorism agenda. Australia is already well advanced in implementing counter-terrorism commitments made last year by APEC Leaders. Australian initatives developed this year in APEC to secure the movement of people in the Asia Pacific Region, and to promote secure trade will be a feature of the meeting.

The ministerial meeting will provide an opportunity for me to encourage development of APEC’s work on anti-corruption, transparency and good governance. These are key contributors to making economies competitive, and to creating a secure environment for economic development.

I will also encourage an expanded APEC work program to halt the spread of HIV/AIDS which is a serious threat to health, security and prosperity of our region. The impact of this health crisis will be felt for generations, with more than seven million people in the Asia-Pacific region already infected by HIV/AIDS.

In Santiago, I will hold bilateral meetings with a number of my counterparts including the foreign ministers of Japan, Mr Nobutaka Machimura; Thailand, Dr Surakiart Sathirathai; Indonesia, Dr N Hassan Wirajuda; and the Republic of Korea, Mr Ban Ki-Moon. We will discuss a range of issues including UN Reform, people-smuggling, counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, the Korean Peninsula and Iraq.

Media Inquiries: Chris Kenny 0419 206 890 DFAT Media Liaison 02 6261 1555

Media releases and speeches are available from DFAT via the internet. http://www.dfat.gov.au/