Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne will visit Bangladesh from 3 to 5 September to attend a ministerial meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and meet with Bangladesh Government leaders.
As an island continent, Australia recognises the importance of ocean health for economic prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.
At the IORA Blue Economy Ministerial Conference, Minister Payne will highlight strategies for creating environmentally sustainable marine-based industries including fishing, aquaculture, tourism, shipping, oil and gas.
Minister Payne will announce the establishment of the IORA Blue Carbon Hub, an Australian initiative located at the University of Western Australia in Perth and managed by CSIRO. The Hub aims to promote the health of blue carbon ecosystems – mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrasses – to promote coastal protection, food security and sustainable livelihoods.
Minister Payne will travel to Cox’s Bazar where Australia has been a leading donor in providing humanitarian assistance for more than 900,000 displaced Rohingya and host communities in Bangladesh.
This assistance includes counselling and medical services to women and girls who have experienced violence, supplying basic food and nutrition – particularly for children under five and breastfeeding women, and providing clean water, shelter and primary healthcare.
Minister Payne’s discussions with Bangladesh Government leaders will focus on countering violent extremism, growing trade and investment links, promoting the Australian education sector, and addressing the Rohingya crisis.
This will be the first visit to Bangladesh by an Australian Foreign Minister since 1998 and first by a Cabinet Minister since 2006.