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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 7412

SPEECH AT PARLIAMENTARY DINNER GIVEN IN HONOUR OF PRESIDENT HAGLEIGAM OF THE FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA, CANBERRA

Photo of Hawke, Robert

Hawke, Robert

Period of Service: 11/03/1983 to 20/12/1991

More information about Hawke, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 13/10/1988

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 7412

PRIME MINISTER
CHECK{ AGAINST DELIVERY EMBARGOED UNTIL DELIVERY
SPEECH BY PRIME MINISTER
PARLIAMENTARY DINNER GIVEN IN HONOUR OF PRESIDENT HAGLELGAM
OF THE FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA
CANBERRA 13 OCTOBER 1988
President Haglelgam,
Secretary for External Affairs Amaraich,
Secretary for Transportation Weilbacher,
Secretary for Human Resources Preterick,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am delighted to welcome President Haglelgam and the
distinguished members of his party to Australia and, in
particular, to our national capital in this, the year of
Au ' stralia's Bicentenary. This is your first visit to
Australia indeed it is I believe your first State visit
abroad. We are honoured that this should be so and you can
be assured you are welcome guests here.
Your visit today along with the visits by the heads of
government of other South Pacific States have played a
most important part in the celebrations of our Bicentenary.
They have served to remind us that, while we are celebrating
the two hundredth anniversary of European settlement in this
country, Australia is undeniably a nation of the
Asia/ Pacific region. This is where our future lies. Your
presence here today underscores this fundamentally important
geo-political reality.
In July of last year, Australia became the first country to
establish diplomatic relations with the Federated States of
Micronesia. In presenting his credentials to you at that
time, Mr President, our minister remarked on how much we
looked forward to working with you in the future as your
country took its rightful place at international tables.
And this, I am proud to be able to say, we have done.
Although your country lies mostly to the north of the
equator, in your history and your culture and in the kinds
of challenges and issues you face as a nation, you have much
in common with the Pacific countries south of the equator. 2 6 ) 53

Through the negotiation of the Law of the Sea Convention
and, since then, in particular through the South Pacific Mr F
Commission and the South Pacific Forum, our two countries well
have worked closely and constructively together. We were Gove
pleased to be able to assist your entry to the Forum in chal
1987, and it was a pleasure for me to be able to work with Mict
you again at this year's Forum meeting in Nuku'alofa. Aust
Your representatives have also played valuable roles in the
fisheries negotiations with the United States, and are
remembered too for their close interest in the negotiation
of the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty.
Mr President, Australia and the Federated States of
Micronesia clearly enjoy a friendly and productive dialogue
on a wide range of issues. As your involvement in regional
affairs continues to grow, we will find ourselves working
ever more closely together in meeting the challenges that we
share with other Pacific Island countries, We look forward
through those contacts to getting to know you and your
people as well as we have come to know our closer regional
neighbours. When we undertook, on opening diplomatic relations with your
country in 1987, to work with you in meeting the challenges
which lay ahead, we were most conscious of the existing
record of cooperation between us. We resolved then to build
on the foundations of economic assistance which had been
laid with our modest program of Australian Government
training awards. Good progress has been made in the past
year in meeting this commitment.
At the same time, some steps have been taken to identify and
foster commercial contacts between Australia and the
Federated States. The absence of a regular shipping service
remains a problem, but I hope that, with the help of the
South Pacific Trade Commission in Sydney and through the
continuing discussions about the possible extension of Forum
shipping line services, a satisfactory resolution can be
found. In all of this we have been cognisant of the overwhelming
importance to you of your relationship with the United,
States. We are confident that we can effectively complement
the assistance that the United States gives to your country.
A clear example is in the provision of a patrol boat to
augment your capacity to get the best out of your maritime
resources.. We look forward to working with you on that
project.
We are pleased to have the opportunity over the next week or
so to show you some of our country. The distances are great
but that won't surprise you Micronesians, I'm sure, are
well accustomed to travel.
2694.

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Transcript 7412