Strengthening Australia’s relationship with the Holy See
4 July 2017
- Deputy Prime Minister visited the Holy See, first Ministerial visit to the Holy See since 2014
- Met with His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State and His Eminence Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
- Held discussions focusing on Australia's global moral responsibility to increase food production, as well as meeting our international obligations to resettle refugees from the Middle East
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, has visited the Holy See, meeting with His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin and His Eminence Cardinal Peter Turkson, to support the ongoing positive relationship between Australia and the Holy See.
Minister Joyce said his discussions focussed on Australia's global moral responsibility to increase food production to alleviate world poverty.
"Australia is a net exporter of food, and our agricultural resources can play a major role in increasing global standards of living," Minister Joyce said.
"This is why the Coalition Government is committed to agricultural research and development, including bringing more land into production by investing in water infrastructure across regional Australia."
Minister Joyce said the Holy See had a unique role and standing in international affairs, and it was important this relationship continues.
"Australia has a long history with the Holy See, having held diplomatic relations since 1973 and a resident ambassador appointed to the Holy See since 2008," Minister Joyce said.
"This relationship has allowed Australia to expand dialogue with the Holy See on important global issues, including human rights, political and religious freedom, global governance and development, inter-faith dialogue, global and regional security, peacekeeping and conflict prevention.
"During these meetings, I was able to discuss Australia's commitment to meeting our international obligations to resettle refugees from the Middle East, including from Syria.
"And like the Holy See, the Australian Government is committed to the realisation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
"As Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, I have a particular focus upon Sustainable Development Goal number two, which seeks to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.
"A focus for the government has been ensuring Australian agriculture is well positioned to take advantage of trade opportunities and support global food security."
- First Ministerial visit to the Holy See since 2014
- Australia has held diplomatic relations with the Holy See since 1973, when it established an Apostolic Nunciature (Embassy) in Canberra.
- Australia has had a resident ambassador to the Holy See since 2008, when the Hon. Tim Fischer AC was appointed to the role.
- The Vatican City State was established by treaty in 1929, providing the Holy See with a small territorial base and recognition as an independent sovereign entity in international law.
- The Holy See has a unique role and standing in international affairs—it is present in a number of multilateral fora and enjoys membership of various UN subsidiary bodies and specialised agencies in which Australia is also represented. For example, the Holy See has a Permanent Observer to the UN FAO, Monsignor Fernando Chica Arellano.