FlagPost

Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

Parliamentary Library Logo showing Information Analysis & Advice

Search: FlagPost

Filter by

Date

Syndication

Tag cloud

Filter by Australian foreign policy

‘For a Few Dollars More’: DFAT identifies priority posts

A recent submission by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to a Parliamentary inquiry into Australia’s overseas representation identifies its priorities for new posts should the Government provide additional funding.These priorities were identified in response to a Question on Notice from Mr Michael Danby MP, Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade and an ex-officio member of the Foreign Affairs sub-committee undertaking the inquiry. Under the three funding options put by Mr Danby, DFAT nominated the following priorities for new posts:‘Low option’ ($25 million a year added to the DFAT budget): Astana (Kazakhstan), Ulaanbatar (Mongolia), Daka... Read more...

New autonomous sanctions against Iran

On 6 December 2011 the Australian Government announced its intention to impose additional sanctions against Iran, ‘targeting additional entities and individuals for their involvement in Iran’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs’.This follows the introduction on 21 November by the governments of the United States (US), Canada and the United Kingdom (UK) of additional autonomous sanctions against Iran in response to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors’ report about the advancement of Iran’s nuclear research and development program.   On 1 December the European Union (EU) foreign ministers decided to impose additional EU financial and energy sanctions against Ir... Read more...

Australia and the European Union: towards a Treaty-level partnership agreement

 The President of the European Commission and former Portuguese Prime Minister, José Manuel Barroso, visited Australia on 4–7 September 2011 as a guest of the Australian Government. The last President of the European Commission to visit Australia was the former prime minister of Luxembourg, Gaston Thorn, in February 1982. Thorn came to Canberra during the Fraser Government’s last years, and his visit was remembered in the Australian press at the time by disagreements over agricultural issues.Nearly thirty years later Mr Barroso, who heads the European Union’s (EU) largest department with over 30 000 civil servants, delivered a public lecture at the Australian National University on 6 Septem... Read more...

Australia's public diplomacy and social media

On 6–7 June 2011 the Forum on Public and Citizen Diplomacy was convened in Canberra to formulate recommendations for Australian public diplomacy practitioners, with the aim of identifying best practice and emerging trends in this field. Innovative ways of conducting public diplomacy, including through the use of social media, have been advanced by Australia's partners. But what exactly is public diplomacy? Experiences from the US, UK, and the EUUnited States of AmericaIn the US, public diplomacy constitutes an essential part of the US foreign policy establishment, and is seen as an element of ‘soft power’, a term which was made popular by Professor Joseph Nye. Soft power refers to a state’s ... Read more...

Australia's involvement in Afghanistan - frequently asked questions

On 12 October 2010, the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, announced that the Parliament of Australia would debate Australia’s involvement in Afghanistan. The Prime Minister’s media release said ‘she believed it was important that all Australians understood the critical mission in Afghanistan’ and that the debate ‘will provide an opportunity to fully explain the Government's ongoing support for the current International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan’. The following information has been compiled to assist Members and Senators as they prepare for the debate. 1. What is the history of Australia’s involvement in Afghanist... Read more...

Asia and the Australia-US alliance

What challenges lie in wait for Australia-US relations in the aftermath of the federal election? Although the alliance relationship has been historically close, the Asia-Pacific region is one issue over which Australia and the US appear to have divergent approaches.Dr Satu Limaye, director of the Washington-based East-West Center, recently spoke at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's (ASPI) Global Forces 2010 conference dinner on 18 August about the challenges and opportunities for bilateral relations presented by the rise of Asia. Dr Limaye observed many similarities in the respective foreign policy and strategic outlooks which characterise the long-standing alliance between Austral... Read more...

NATO at the crossroads: where do Australian interests lie?

Do Australia and NATO have common interests? Given the geographic divide, this might not be an obvious issue, but it was perhaps the central question emerging from a public lecture delivered on 2 August 2010 at the Australian National University by the Chairman of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Military Committee, Admiral Giampaolo di Paola. The Chairman emphasised the growing political dimension of the alliance, which finds itself at a strategic crossroads.At the recent public lecture, Chairman di Paola noted positive steps towards further collaboration, on issues such as Somali piracy, between NATO and Australia’s most populous neighbour and key trading partner, China. Th... Read more...

Top