DFAT wants diplomats in more nations

The Australian

DFAT wants diplomats in more nations

THE Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) wants to open new diplomatic missions in Mongolia, Thailand, Kazakhstan and tiny Tuvalu.

In a submission to a parliamentary inquiry into the underfunding of Australia’s foreign service, DFAT has outlined where it would open new posts if it had the money.

It says that with an extra $25 million in annual funding it could open new posts in Thai tourist spot Phuket, Mongolian capital Ulan Bator, Kazakhstani capital Astana and Tuvalu’s Funafuti.

Double that amount and it could add new postings in China, Algeria, Angola, Colombia and Tanzania.

With an extra $75 million in annual funding DFAT would also target Morocco, Norway and Switzerland.

With that kind of money, the department would also establish as many as 50 new positions in existing posts.

The federal government recently announced funding for new posts in Chengdu in China and Dakar in Senegal.

But even with those new missions, Australia will still have just 97 missions in 77 of the 193 UN-recognised countries – the smallest diplomatic footprint of any G20 nation.

Only nine of the 34 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development – all of them small – have fewer diplomatic missions than Australia. Countries such as Finland, Belgium and the Czech Republic have more.

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Posted on May 14, 2012, in Morocco News and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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