Monday 26 Feb 2018 | 04:49 | SYDNEY
Monday 26 Feb 2018 | 04:49 | SYDNEY

Rudd's Kokoda Foundation speech



21 November 2008 16:39

Pretty good speech from the Prime Minister last night on the Asia Pacific and Australian foreign policy. Yes, he lapsed into Rudd-speak occasionally in the Q&A ('...drawing the threads together of our pan regional cooperation in order to encourage and institutionalise the habits of cooperation across the policy spheres') but the speech itself was commendably jargon-lite and contained some pretty good jokes. Score one for Annabel Crabb?

There was even some detail about Rudd's Asia Pacific Community initiative. I may have missed this previously, but Rudd's insistence that ASEAN should be 'at the core' of the APC seemed new to me, and implied that ASEAN's role would be subsumed by the APC. Rudd also suggested the APC could take over the functions of APEC, though he was quick to say such decisions would be a matter for 'our friends and partners in the region'.

Rudd was at pains to say that, when it came to the APC, his Government was listening, not dictating. Perhaps the aim is to create a sense of regional ownership when it eventually comes time to propose a specific structure.

Oh, and Mr Rudd also promised a National Security Statement 'soon', which I take to mean this parliamentary year. That gives him until 4 December to make an announcement. The defence white paper, meanwhile, will now come out 'in the first half' of next year.

You may also be interested in...