MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIA
4 April 2007
Australia Mongolia Bilateral Relations Strengthened
Today in Ulaanbaatar, I signed, with my counterpart Mr Nyamaa Enkhbold, a Joint Statement on Australia Mongolia relations, which provides a framework for strengthening our bilateral relationship.
I am pleased to announce the establishment of an Australian Honorary Consulate in Ulaanbaatar. An Honorary Consul will enable us to provide a better service to Australians in Mongolia and to provide a resident Australian official presence to the Mongolian Government.
Australia and Mongolia have close people to people links and an increasingly active commercial relationship. In June this year, our Ambassador to Mongolia, Dr Geoff Raby, who is resident in Beijing, will lead a delegation of officials and business people to explore ways of expanding and deepening our bilateral relations.
Australia will also double from 14 to 28 the number of Development Scholarships for Mongolian students over the next three years. These scholarships play a crucial role in strengthening the expertise and qualifications of Mongolians to improve government administration and financial management.
Since 1996, 112 Mongolian students (60 women and 52 men) have been awarded Development Scholarships for further study in Australia. In 2006, Mongolia was also awarded two scholarships under the Australian Leadership Awards. Future Leadership Awards will be available in 2007.
Australia’s aid program to Mongolia seeks to build Mongolia’s human and institutional resources to support long-term sustainable development, and to assist its transition to a modern market-based economy, in line with the directions set out in the White Paper on Australia’s overseas aid program.
Today in Ulaanbaatar I presented a cheque for A$10,000 to the Lotus Children’s Centre, to assist homeless and disabled children to develop the skills they will need to support themselves in the future.
Media Inquiries: Mr Downer’s office 02 6277 7500 – Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555