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Australia’s foreign minister warns of ‘catastrophic’ impact of Indo-Pacific war during UN address

9 News, By Savannah Meacham • Associate Producer Sep 24, 2022

Foreign minister Penny Wong has used her first major speech to the United Nations to warn of the impact of a war in the Indo-Pacific region, invoking the China-Taiwan tensions in all but name.

Wong not only condemned the invasion of Russia in Ukraine in her speech but she also forewarned the “catastrophic” impact conflict in the Indo-Pacific would have on Australia and the other Asia-Pacific nations.

“In my own region, where geopolitical contest becomes ever sharper, we must ensure that competition does not escalate into conflict,” Wong said.

“Because if conflict were to break out in the Indo-Pacific, it would be catastrophic – for our people and our prosperity.

“And with the Indo-Pacific’s centrality to global prosperity and security, the cost would extend far beyond our region and reach into every life.”

Wong questioned how countries can “apply the brakes” against rising tensions, like the one in the Indo-Pacific.

“It is up to all of us to ask ourselves how can we each use our state power, our influence, our networks, our capabilities, to avert catastrophic conflict?” she asked.

“How do we acquit our responsibilities to constrain tensions – to apply the brakes before the momentum for conflict in our region or beyond becomes unstoppable?”

In recent months, tensions have been developing between China and Taiwan.

Wong is addressing the UN to remind the group of Australia’s desire to have a seat on the council in 2029. She will support this by outlining Australia’s “resolve” to battle growing conflicts in the Asia Pacific.

“The Australian people want to be better, more involved, and more helpful members of the Pacific family,” Wong said.

“Australians want to enhance our defence, maritime and economic cooperation with Pacific Island Countries. And we want to be the Pacific’s partner of choice for development and security.

“It is why we seek a seat on the UN Security Council for 2029-2030. It is why we seek reform of the Security Council, with greater permanent representation for Africa, Latin America, and Asia, including India and Japan.”

‘We cannot leave it to the big powers’

She outlined Australia’s goal to become a significant player on the world stage and urge smaller countries to set their own fate aside from the one allegedly decided by global superpowers.

“It reminds us that each nation must make its own choices, and exercise its own agency. We cannot leave it to the big powers. And we cannot be passive when big powers flout the rules,” she said……………………. more https://www.9news.com.au/national/australian-foreign-minister-penny-wong-warns-of-impact-of-war-in-indo-pacific-united-nations-speech/e514adc1-9b31-4ed6-8d48-62f4b3cbb324

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September 22, 2022 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international, weapons and war

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