Remarks for INDIGI-X Closing Ceremony
Deputy Australian High Commissioner, Amy Guihot
3 November 2022
Kia ora koutou - greetings to you all.
I am delighted to speak with all of you today.
I extend my respect to Aboriginal and First Nations people here – including from Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, Canada and the Pacific.
It’s only been 4 weeks since I took up my role as Deputy High Commissioner to New Zealand.
But even in this short time, I’m noticing the strength of the relationship between our two countries.
Next year we will celebrate 80 years of reciprocal diplomatic relations and 40 years of our Closer Economic Relations agreement.
But there is a particularly special cord which binds our countries together.
This same bond extends to many of our neighbours in the Indo-Pacific region and across the globe.
And that is the relationship between our First Nations peoples.
Indigenous people have long histories of trade and business.
It is great to see First Nations Australians having the opportunity to participate and contribute to the fourth INDIGI-X virtual exchange, alongside our close partners, Canada and Aotearoa-New Zealand.
There is much to share on culture, commerce and connection, to empower indigenous professionals.
And to promote the well-being and advancement of Māori, Indigenous Australians, Métis, Inuit and First Nations people throughout the world.
Our support is consistent with Australia’s Indigenous Diplomacy Agenda, which includes the key pillar: to promote sustainable development for all indigenous peoples.
The new Australian Government is increasing efforts to ensure that our First Nations people can participate more effectively in key trade policy discussions and negotiations.
It is committed to implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full, which calls for ‘Voice. Treaty. Truth.’
As part of its commitment to implement the Uluru Statement, the government will move to enshrine an Indigenous Voice to Parliament in the Australian Constitution.
Building on this commitment, the government is developing a First Nations Foreign Policy, to reflect indigenous voices in our national identity.
As an early, practical step to demonstrate its commitment, Australia will appoint a First Nations Ambassador – to lead a new office within our Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The Australian government is also taking decisive action to address climate change – which disproportionately threatens to affect First Nations communities.
In June, the government submitted a revised Nationally Determined Contribution to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
This Contribution lifts Australia’s emissions reduction target to 43 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
It reaffirms our commitment to reach net zero by 2050.
By 2030, the proportion of renewables in Australia’s National Energy Market will increase to 82 per cent.
We are committed to working with New Zealand, Canada and other APEC economies under the Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement (IPETCA).
This first of its kind, open plurilateral Cooperation Arrangement will promote greater Indigenous trade and economic linkages.
The Cooperation Arrangement reaffirms our countries’ commitments to important international instruments, such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
And it is supported by existing work under our Indigenous Collaboration Agreements.
We welcome INDIGI-X efforts to bring together Foreign and Global Affairs Ministers, as well as Ministers responsible for Indigenous Affairs, with indigenous business professionals.
I hope you will continue these important conversations far beyond your final presentations.
We look forward to your ongoing voices - offering your cultural insights and contributing to policy.
What is good for our First Nations peoples is good for us all.
Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa.
Therefore, greetings to you all.