Former foreign minister Bob Carr says aid is central to promoting diplomatic relations.
“It’s how Australia can get recognition, in the world community, for our character as a people,” Carr said at the Affinity Intercultural Foundation in Sydney on Wednesday. He said Australia’s successful bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council relied partly on proactive aid programs at the time.
Domestic politics was highlighted as important in projecting an image of Australia to a global audience. Mr Carr said the apology to indigenous Australian’s delivered by Kevin Rudd was integral to the successful Security Council bid.
Also noted was the importance of strong diplomatic relations to resolve some of the world’s toughest conflicts, such as the long-running civil war in Syria.
“Syria was the saddest experience I had as Australian foreign minister,” Carr said, referring to his failure to implement an “imminently defensible plan” that would have allowed medicine to reach both sides of the conflict. Carr said the conflict could only be described as an attempt to destroy all housing throughout the country and a war against children.
Top picture of The Hon. Bob Carr on Wednesday.
Photo by Andrew Leeson