Bipartisan delegation highlights Australia's Pacific links

Media release

10 December 2012

Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Richard Marles is leading a bipartisan delegation to the Pacific this week, emphasizing Australia's vital engagement with this diverse region.

Labor Senator Louise Pratt and Coalition MPs Bob Baldwin and Ewen Jones will accompany Mr Marles, along with Australia's Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, Penny Williams. The delegation will visit the Marshall Islands, Tonga, New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

"With over 20,000 islands, 1,400 languages and ten million people, the Pacific is a culturally rich and diverse region. But it faces common problems, such as fisheries management, economic development and gender inequality," Mr Marles said.

"Australia is committed to working with our Pacific neighbours to tackle these issues.

"For instance, we are providing $320 million towards the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development initiative. This will increase the number of women in leadership roles so they can improve their lives and help their local communities."

As well as meeting heads of government and other ministers, the delegation will hold talks with influential women and women's NGOs.

Media enquiries

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