Australian FM due today

Staff Correspondent

3 September, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator Marise Payne is scheduled to arrive here today on a three-day visit to Bangladesh.

During her visit, she will meet the policymakers and political leaders of Bangladesh to discuss issues like blue economy, counter terrorism and the Rohingya crisis.

Payne, also Minister for Women Affairs, will take part in a ministerial meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).

This will be the first visit to Bangladesh by any Australian foreign minister since 1988 and first by a Cabinet minister since 2006.

As an island continent, Australia recognises the importance of ocean health for economic prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

 At the IORA Blue Economy Ministerial Conference, Payne will highlight strategies for creating environmentally sustainable marine-based industries, including fishing, aquaculture, tourism, shipping, oil and gas.

 She will announce the establishment of the IORA Blue Carbon Hub, an Australian initiative located at the University of Western Australia in Perth and managed by CSIRO. The Hub aims to promote the health of blue carbon ecosystem, mangroves, tidal marshes and sea grasses to promote coastal protection, food security and sustainable livelihoods.

 Minister Payne will travel to Cox’s Bazar where Australia extends humanitarian assistance to over 9, 00,000 displaced Rohingyas and host communities in Bangladesh.

Australian assistance includes counselling and medical services to women and girls who have experienced violence, supplying basic food and nutrition for children under five and breastfeeding women, and providing clean water, shelter and primary healthcare.

Payne’s discussions with Bangladesh government leaders will focus on countering violent extremism, growing trade and investment links, promoting the Australian education sector, and addressing the Rohingya crisis.