This chapter was contributed by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, AusAID, and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (September 2007).
Australia’s foreign and trade policies are designed to advance the security and prosperity of Australia and Australians.
The international environment is increasingly challenging and uncertain. Globalisation has made the world more interdependent and provided opportunities for trading nations such as Australia by promoting trade liberalisation and raising living standards. However, globalisation has also increased countries’ vulnerability to transnational threats. The threat of international terrorism continues to impact on the security environment and countering terrorism is a major focus of Australia’s foreign policy.
Australia pursues bilateral, regional and multilateral strategies to advance its national interest. Australia has close bilateral relationships with countries in the region and a strong alliance in the United States of America. Australia is an active member of regional organisations, such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, the Association of South East Asian Nations Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit and the Pacific Islands Forum.
The Australian Government is actively involved in a number of multilateral organisations. It uses its membership of such bodies, including the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, to work for regional security and stability, trade liberalisation, good governance, human rights and sustainable development, among other important goals.
This chapter contains the article Lessening the impacts from agriculture and concludes with the article APEC and climate change.