The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, today announced two young high achieving members of the Australia Defence Organisation will join a youth delegation to the NATO Leaders’SummitinChicagothis May.
Defence has entered a partnership with ‘Global Voices’, a not for profit organisation which promotes an understanding of and participation in international diplomacy by young Australians.
Through this partnership the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin and Deputy Secretary for Strategy, Brendan Sargeant, have each selected one delegate following a competitive process.
FLTLT Melissa Houston and Farooq Mohammad have been chosen to attend the Chicago conference.
Mr Snowdon offered his congratulations to Melissa and Farooq, describing the opportunity as a chance for both these young Defence members to build their understanding of international engagement and contemporary policy.
“It is an important activity in developing the capacity of Defence’s next generation of leaders and will no doubt give Melissa and Farooq an incredible insight into an important part of the world’s diplomatic framework,” Mr Snowdon said.
“This is the first timeAustraliahas sent a youth delegation to a NATO Leader’s summit and it reflects Australia’s strengthening relationship with NATO over the last decade.”
“Australiais the largest non-NATO contributor of troops to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan, a role we all take very seriously,” he said.
Before departing forChicago, the participants will each produce a research paper on a topic relevant toAustralia’s engagement with NATO.
These papers will be provided the NATO Summit secretariat, published online and in academic journals.
During the Chicago conference, Australia’s youth delegates will have the opportunity to attend open briefings by senior Government representatives of NATO contributing nations, military commanders and diplomats.
Global Voices organises Australian youth delegations to a range of important diplomatic gatherings including the Group of Twenty Nations (G20) and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC).
Images are available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/fotoweb/Grid.fwx?archiveId=5003&search=11122400
Marcus Butler (Minister Snowdon) 02 6277 7820 or 0417 917 796
Defence Media Operations: 02 6127 1999