On Friday 17 and Saturday 18 May I visited New York.
I spoke at the United Nations Security Council Arria Formula Meeting on Implementing the UN Security Council’s Women, Peace and Security agenda. The Forum was co hosted by Australia.
I outlined the steps Australia had taken to help implement United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 to address the disproportionate adverse effect conflict has on women and girls.
This includes preventing and addressing sexual violence; mainstreaming a gender perspective across its missions; and working to ensure women’s full and effective participation in conflict prevention, resolution, and post-conflict peacebuilding.
I met with United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Mr Jan Eliasson, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous, Military Adviser for Peacekeeping Operations Lieutenant General Babacar Gaye and Assistant Secretary General for Field Support Anthony Banbury. I was accompanied by Australia's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Gary Quinlan.
These meetings provided an opportunity to discuss issues on the United Nations Security Council's agenda, in particular Syria and Mali. We also discussed Australia's ongoing support to United Nations peacekeeping.
Australia has been an active contributor to United Nations peacekeeping for over 65 years and continues to support the United Nations through operation contributions, financial support, and doctrinal and training assistance.
I met with Executive Director of UNICEF, Tony Lake.
I also visited the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, and paid tribute to the nearly 3000 people, including 10 Australians, who died in the terror attacks of 11 September 2001.
I now travel to Washington for meetings with US officials commencing Sunday 19 May. On Tuesday 21 May I conduct formal bilateral discussions with US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.
Minister Smith’s office: Sacha Fenton 0467 784 528
Defence Media Operations: (02) 6127 1999