Ogden: Julia Gillard “Asian Century”

Ogden: Julia Gillard “Asian Century”


Good evening, and welcome
to the 90th Stephen A. Ogden class of 1960 memorial lecture
on international affairs. The Ogden Lecture is one
of Brown University’s oldest and most
distinguished lectures. Since the first Ogden
Lecture in 1965, the university
has welcomed heads of state, senior diplomats,
senators, prime ministers, well-seasoned journalists,
and other observers of the international
scene, who’ve spoken from personal
experience about urgent matters between nations, or across
regions of the world. The Ogden Lectures were
established as a memorial to Stephen A. Ogden, a member
of the Brown class of 1960, who died in 1963 from injuries
sustained in an automobile accident during his junior year. As a student, Stephen dreamed
of promoting international peace through a career in
international relations, a dream that is still shared
by the many Brown students who enter our international
relations concentration, and other concentrations. And the international
relations concentration remains one of the largest
offered in the university. Peggy Ogden, Stephen’s
sister and a member the Brown class of 1953,
was unable to join us this afternoon. I’m delighted, however, that
her good friend Dr. Robert Ackermann has joined us to
represent the Ogden family. Welcome, Dr. Ackermann. [APPLAUSE] So today, it is my
very great pleasure to introduce Julia Gillard,
the 27th prime minister of Australia. She entered that office in June
2010, and served until 2013. Her remarkable career is not
less remarkable for the fact that she arrived in Australia
as an immigrant in 1966. Her family brought her
as a child from Wales. Like so many of you, many of
the students in the audience, she followed politics
deeply as an undergraduate. In her case, at the University
of Adelaide, where she joined the Labor Club and fought
against federal cuts in education. Throughout long career
as a lawyer, and then as a political leader, she’s
pursued the social conscience that was awakened
in her college days. As she rose through
the government, her portfolio often included the
marginalized and dispossessed. And as she rose
further, she developed great expertise in the heart of
Labor’s traditional concerns– education, health care,
labor opportunity, and sustainability. After becoming prime
minister in 2010, her expertise in
all of these areas helped Australia to quote “move
forward her campaign slogan” in many ways. She balanced budgets. She continued her passionate
advocacy for education. She introduced a
clean energy bill. Since she left
office in 2013, she’s continued to lead as an
extraordinary advocate for the power of
education, especially in the developing world. She chairs the board of
the Global Partnership for Education, an international
organization doing remarkable work in the
world’s poorest countries to bring us closer to the
Millennium Development Goal of universal
primary education. She’s also helped
to educate women around the world
about the challenges of political leadership
at the highest levels through her speeches
and her memoir, My Story, published by Random
House in October of 2014. I know she enjoys
audiences like this one. She’s an honorary visiting
professor at her Alma mater, the University of Adelaide. And she likes talking to them. I know that she’ll enjoy
talking to this group as well. So please join me in welcoming
the former Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard. [APPLAUSE] Thank you very much for
that generous introduction. I was absolutely
delighted by it, and it’s a great
honor to be here. I’d also like to extend my
regards to the Ogden family. And if you could please
pass that on for me, I would be very grateful. What a privilege to be here
at Brown University, one of the great universities
in the world. A place of humanity
and, of course, a place of enlightenment. And I want to start
by saying to you, never doubt the importance
of what happens here. Each and every day, the most
transformative, important agent of change on our planet–
education– happens right here. Each and every
day, new knowledge is created here
through research. You have got so
much to be proud of, and I’m very pleased
to have the opportunity to address an audience
of people dedicated to improving our world. Understandably, students come
from all around the world to be here at Brown. I’ve come, as you’ve
heard, from my hometown– from Adelaide, Australia. And just in case you are in
any doubt at this moment, I am speaking English. There are no
translation devices. So if you’re finding it hard,
please just concentrate. To any Aussies, in the
audience– and I’ve found one– a big g’day. There’s obviously an Aussie
back there somewhere as well. And to translate
that, it genuinely is a good day, one that can be
followed by a better tomorrow. And today, I want to talk
to you about that brighter future– about hope. Hope in my region of the world. Hope in the education of
the children of the world. My first message to you is a
clear one, and a simple one. Asia’s rise is the
opportunity if this century. Consider this. When Great Britain
industrialized, it took 70 years, the whole
period from 1830 to 1900, for its economy to quadruple. In contrast, in the last 25
years, the economy of China, a nation of 1.3 billion,
has grown by 20 times over. This is industrialization
at warp speed. China is already the world’s
largest manufacturer, and the world’s
largest exporter, and the world’s largest
consumer of energy. China’s story is
that of a giant. But the landscape have changed,
and my region of the world is even more vast. The economies of nations
like Indonesia, Vietnam, and Cambodia have
been growing rapidly. India, while facing many
challenges, is also growing. People continue to be
lifted from poverty to prosperity every day. And we see in India
a reinvigorated sense of urgency for that country, the
largest democracy in the world, to make sure that it delivers
a transformation felt through the length and
breadth of Indian society. Consider Singapore
and South Korea, nations that have emerged from
the ruins of different wars into modernity and prosperity. Japan has spent many as
a peaceful powerhouse and is working to return
to Morehouseian days of strong economic growth. In combination, looking across
this collection of nations, you see rapid changes. And these rapid changes
right across Asia mean that in a few years’
time, my region of the world will be home to the most sizable
middle class on the planet– bigger than the middle classes
of the rest of the world combined, North America
and Europe included. The business
opportunities flowing from the creation of
this enormous number of moneyed consumers are
immense in magnitude. To give you one example,
last month, Apple became the first
American company to hit a market capitalization
of $700 billion. Its chief executive, Tim Cook,
explained that Apple’s strength had been bolstered by
selling $38 billion of smart phones in China, Hong
Kong, and Taiwan last year. Apple had ignored the
fashionable advice that it would need
a low price product to succeed in these markets. Instead, it has won selling
through its usual products, and selling them to Asia’s
burgeoning middle class. Of course, Asia’s
middle class people will want more than phones. They will want to live in
well-appointed properties; enjoy the benefits of
world-class infrastructure; rely on quality health
services when seek; educate their children in good
schools, technical training institutions, and
universities; enjoy holidays in interesting locations. The list goes on and on. When I was growing up, Asia was
viewed as a place of poverty. It was also viewed as
a source of threat, the popular security
doctrine of the time being the Domino
Theory, which held if Vietnam fell
to communism, then communism would
just keep coming. Australia looked over Asia
to our traditional markets, like the United
Kingdom, to Europe. We looked at America,
our ally and friend, the place that gave us
everything from Sesame Street to MASH. During the last four decades,
we have seen exponential change in Asia, including the movement
of close to 400 million Chinese people to cities. Another 200 or 300
million are expected to do the same in
the next 20 years. And you don’t build cities
without commodities. Australia’s iron
ore and coking coal are essential to
the construction of Chinese apartments,
rail lines, and factories. And in those growing
cities, Australia wants to see those
apartments filled with our high-end
manufactured goods, our clean, high-quality food
produce, and our premium wine. Those consumers will
look to countries like Australia for
tertiary education and for technical skills. They could look to Australia,
too, for quality health care, for progressive and caring
approaches on age care, for innovations in scientific
research and medicines. Australia, therefore,
is no longer an old economy, and no
longer subject to the tyranny of distance, either. Asia has turned
this on its head, giving us what the Economist
magazine neatly termed the advantage of adjacency. For the first
time, we are closer to the fastest-growing and
most economically dynamic region of the world
than our competitors. The forces that are
changing my nation, and presenting it with
new opportunities, will also reshape and
present new possibilities to the rest of the world. The 21st century will not see
a continuation of the unipolar world of the latter part
of the 20th century, of the United States being
the only global giant. At some point,
comparatively soon, the total gross domestic
product of China will exceed that of
the United States. So how depressed should
Americans, should all of you, be about the future
of being a GDP second place getter? How depressed should you be? Well, in my view, not at all. Rather, Asia’s rise
means the innovative, resilient,
entrepreneurial US economy can be a beneficiary of the
resulting economic growth. President Obama certainly
demonstrated his understanding of this economic dynamic when
he announced the Pivot Towards Asia. I saw him pursue growth
for the US economy at the Asia-Pacific
Economic Forums we attended together, including
the one he hosted in Hawaii. It is the underlying
strategy of his drive to create the Trans-Pacific
Partnership, a 21st century trade agreement embracing 11
nations in the Asia-Pacific. And he has recently
reaffirmed the importance of looking to Asia by
announcing forthcoming visits from the leaders of China,
Japan, Korea, and Indonesia, all coming here to
the United States. All these steps of
vital preparations by the president for the future. I endorse his activism. Winning in the Asian century
has to be fought for, not lethargically assumed. But it can be done by many
nations and businesses around our planet. However, nations will
finally come out winners if they are at their
most productive, in the right economic
shape to compete, and seize a share of Asian growth. That means building the
right infrastructure, streamlined regulations,
doing the trade deals that would ease tariff,
quota, and behind the border barriers. Fiscally, it also remains
a budget in balance across the economic cycle. But more than anything
else, it means winning the education race,
and increasing the skill levels of the labor force. It means making our work forces
Asia-capable, Asia-literate, Asia-orientated. While my message to you is one
of hope, a positive expectation for a future of prosperity
driven by Asia’s growth, it is inevitably the
nature of our world that change brings both
opportunities and risks. President Obama’s
rebalance towards Asia is not just about
economic matters, as important as
jobs and prosperity are to the American Dream. It is also a
profound recognition that as economic weight changes,
so, too, does strategic weight. As the geopolitical heft
and military capability of an ascendant
China increases, some see a threat to
peace and stability, to the very security
of the West. This spurs lively
policy debate here in America and around the world. So it should, because this
is one of the seminal issues of our times. In this debate, some advocate
a US-lead containment strategy of China. I think this is a
proposition than should be rejected outright, in
favor of a more practical, balanced, nuanced, and,
at the end of the day, optimistic view of the future. Australia has had cause to
deeply consider and debate our perspectives
on China’s rise. The United States of
America is our ally, while China is our
biggest customer for our exported goods. Never before in
Australia’s history have we confronted a situation
where our economic future is so dependent on a
nation that is neither an ally nor a democracy. This has led many
in my country to say we leave in a zero-sum
foreign policy environment. That we can only improve
our relationship with China by diminishing our relationship
with the US, or that a closer alliance with
America must mean a cooling of relations with China. I founded my foreign
policy actions as prime minister on the premise
that the zero-sum analysis was wrong, and that we could
improve both relationships at the same time. I proved this could
be done by securing new diplomatic architecture
with China, a guaranteed leaders level meeting annually–
a privilege enjoyed by only a few nations
in the world– while furthering our
alliance with the US by having marines
train in our north. So it is with some sense of
having been there and done that, having prevailed
as an optimist, that I can say to you today
that China’s rise means there are security issues to
be managed, but it can be done. But security issues don’t
just take care of themselves. There is work to do in
our region of the world on the pressing and
potentially flash point issues that confront us. One is the unresolved
territorial disputation between China and Japan, a
tension that has periodically run very hot. The second is the
disputation about territory in the South China Sea. These are arguments
about territory, and what comes with territory. Namely, a sense
of national pride, and the economic rights
to exploit resources in adjacent waters. It is in all of our interests
to see these tensions resolved peacefully and
amicably, but getting there will require
huge diplomatic efforts and resources. It will only be done with
the US deeply engaged bilaterally and multilaterally. The bandwidth of leaders
is not unlimited, and there is much
jostling for attention. If you imagine our
planet revolving slowly before your eyes as you flicker
them from place to place. Look towards much
of the Middle East, and you see turmoil,
places engulfed by sectarianism and extremism. If your eyes alighted on
Europe, the impression would be of a
continent grappling with economic stagnation,
with a nation still at risk of defaulting on loan payments. You could bear witness
to the fear caused by Islamic violent extremism,
and observe death also comes in state-on-state
state conflict, namely that caused by Russia’s
ambitions in the Ukraine. Gazing towards Africa would
reveal profound development, peace, and governance
challenges. Looking at the US would reveal
a nation that is on its way back economically but
is still struggling to find a lasting consensus
on key fundamentals, like the budget, climate change,
health care, immigration, economic security. Even funding Homeland
Security can become hostage to political gains. But even while the
[? entries ?] of global leaders bulge with hard problems, with
so much requiring attention, it is terribly
important to appreciate that managing peace takes as
much time, effort, commitment, and discipline as
managing war or crisis. Asia cannot get by
on benign neglect. Any power vacuums
will be filled. I saw this up close
and personally in Bali in late September 2013. The APEC Summit was about
to begin the following week. President Obama was
scheduled to attend, and there was much excitement
and anticipation in the air. On Saturday morning,
Friday in Washington, I was at a conference with
hundreds from across Asia. The iPhones started ringing
and buzzing– the White House had just announced that
President Obama was not going to come to Bali. His travel plans had changed
because the gridlocked Congress was about to go over the cliff
on the budget and debt ceiling, with shutdown and
default at hand. He had to deal with the
crisis in Washington. In the room where I sat,
there was a wave of surprise, and then a great deal
of disappointment. The White House understood the
significance of that moment. And in the years since,
President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry
have not missed a beat in attending the
Asia summits that occupy the diaries of leaders
in October and November. But the question
remains unanswered– has the entire American
political system learned from this event that the cost
of hyperpartisanship at home can be measured in
lost prestige abroad? Ultimately, the seduction
of playing politics at home, and the strain of responding
to events around the world, can not so limit
time and attention that Asia is neglected. At heart, as I’ve told
you, I’m an optimist. And so, I believe that President
Obama and his administration will continue to carefully
manage his Pivot to Asia. And that at some point
in your political system, there will be a move to
a more productive cycle. Just don’t ask me
to predict when. Or, indeed, to
predict the outcome of the next
presidential election. Obviously, Australia
will stand ready to work as an ally and friend with
the next president, whoever she may be. Australia and the
US– together we confront opportunities
and risks. Our world, my region,
Asia, has both. But I want to emphasize
that I believe the opportunities are greater,
and the risks can be managed. And no matter how many times I
consider our world’s problems and hold them up to the
light for examination, I am always drawn back
to the same core answer– there is no problem in our
world that cannot be resolved or lessened by education. For me, for my view
of your future, a second source of
great hope should be that for the first
time in human history, it is in our grasp to ensure
every child of the world is educated. And we can prove how much
that education matters. Consider these startling
but simple facts. In Pakistan, working women
with good literacy skills earn 95% more than
those with weak skills. In Nigeria, if all women
completed secondary school, the under five child mortality
rape would drop by 43%. In Africa, educated
people are 1 and 1/2 times more likely to support democracy
than those with no education. In Arab states, tolerance
towards different religions increases by 14% with
a secondary education. In countries that
nurture education, living standards are
higher, disease is lower, life expectancy is longer,
families have more income, women have more choices,
children are better nourished, governments have more revenue,
and successive generations do better. Education can also be
part of the process of social transformation,
which creates more gender-just societies. Education can empower
women to overcome forms of gender discrimination,
and to make more informed choices about their lives. Such empowerment, of
course, benefits them, but it also lifts the living
conditions of their children, and ultimately
strengthens their society. We know, for example, that women
with higher levels of education are less likely to
get married early or have children
at an early age. We know, too, as women’s
education levels rise, fertility rates decline. And as women climb the
educational ladder, preventable child deaths
drop dramatically. So let’s get
challenging at world by educating its children. I am so excited by this task
that in my life, post-politics, I’ve become the chair of the
board of the Global Partnership for Education, the only
multilateral organization solely devoted to getting
all children into school for a good, quality education. But what can be
achieved for children depends not just on the
work of bodies like GPE. It depends on the
political will for change that can be generated globally
by active campaigning. So I come to you
with a simple plea. Get involved. Join in. This year, 2015, is a pivotal
moment for global development overall, and the education
sector in particular. This year, the Millennium
Development Goals, which of guided the
global development agenda for 15 years, will expire. And the member states
of the United Nations will adopt a new sustainable
development agenda to be the blueprint for global
efforts for the next 15 years. The Millennium
Development Goals have brought tremendous progress. The one for education
is universal access to primary school. And we have seen children
in their millions enrolled in school. But we have not
achieved access for all. As we enter the era of the
sustainable development goals, we must not only lift ambition. We have to understand the
key problems that are now keeping kids out of school. I think of the challenges
we face as best represented by four overlapping circles. One, liable poverty; one,
conflict; one, fragility; one, emergency. Within the circumferences
of these four circles are the 58 million children of
primary school age in our world today who do not go to school. While in today’s
world, there are still millions of poor, marginalized
children out of school in nations with
functioning governments, 28.5 million children
worldwide are out of school because they are not
only poor, but they live in conflict-affected
nations, fragile nations, situations of emergency,
or more than one of these. The second challenge
of armed conflict affected 35 countries between
1999 and 2008, and almost half of those countries were
in sub-Saharan Africa. There are out of school children
in many parts of the world today, but more
than half of them believe in sub-Saharan Africa. Girls in sub-Saharan
Africa account for the majority of
this group and face the greatest risk of exclusion. The third challenge of
government fragility is disproportionately
represented in Africa as well. And fragile countries
deal less well with the fourth
challenge of emergency, so that, often, natural
disaster or disease become educational
emergencies in turn. The current humanitarian
crises in the Central African Republic, South Sudan,
and other countries, have resulted in even more
schools shut, populations displaced, and
widespread destruction or severe damage to the
educational infrastructure. Ebola’s outbreak has closed
schools in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone,
denying education to some 5 million
girls and boys. This lost learning time is
almost impossible to recover. Many children may
never return to school. While schools in
Guinea have reopened, and Sierra Leone and Liberia
have announced their reopening, this tragic disease
crisis threatens years of educational progress
in West Africa, where literacy rates are already
low, and school systems are only now recovering
from years of civil war. The challenge of keeping
children access to school is a dynamic one, as every
year a new cohort of children becomes of school age. Once again, our focus
goes to sub-Saharan Africa where, according to UNESCO,
the school age population is growing faster than
in any other region, up 35% since the year 2000. While educational
emergencies are compounded by underlying poverty,
fragility, or conflict, natural emergency, or
the outbreak of disease, some situations can
challenge our thinking about capacity and development. Think of a middle income
country like Lebanon, that has been home
to large numbers of fleeing Syrian children
who, before the outbreak of the conflict,
used to go to school. Some report that education
standards in Lebanon are now at risk of
serious deterioration. This is despite the efforts
of local authorities to run several shifts at
schools to accommodate the influx of new students. These are difficult
challenges in isolation, and ones which interact with
each other in tremendously complex ways. And while ensuring
access to school is hard, ensuring learning happens
at school is even harder. In truth, our world faces
a learning quality crisis. 250 million children are
unable to read or perform basic calculations, even
though they may have had four years of schooling. We must ensure that
children can spend they childhood safe and
nourished inside the classroom. But we must also
ensure that they are getting the skills,
knowledge, and experience that they will need
to thrive in life. In other words, it’s not enough
just to get children to school. We must be sure they learn and
achieve while they are there. To get this right requires us
to want to some intellectually difficult questions. How do we define the
quality of education? How do we systematically
measure it? How do we use that
information to feed back to policymakers,
teachers, and communities, so that learning
can be improved? In our own communities,
in the developed world, these questions still
perplex policymakers. It is, therefore,
unsurprising that they should be found challenging
in developing countries. But here, too, we know
from past successes that change can happen if we
work for it and resource it. So across the entire
global community there is much
thinking to be done in this vital year of
international deliberation and goal setting,
especially on how to finance the change we seek. Education receives
relatively scant financing through humanitarian appeals. In 2012, only 1.4% of
global humanitarian funding was allocated to education,
down from 2.4% in 2011. Tragically, education also
lacks in development funding. Aid to education has declined
by almost 10% since 2010, whilst over the same period,
overall development assistance worldwide has
fallen by just 1.3%. The simple fact is that we have
to devote far more resources to overcome the strain of
emergencies, fragility, and conflict, what that puts
on education and its delivery. We also need to do more through
global development funding to get children into
school and learning. The sharp decline in global aid
to education must be reversed. We must all push for
the political will to reprioritize education aid. The real test of success
this turning point year, which will bring us the
sustainable development goals, is the preparedness of
the global community to support and finance progress. In that search for political
will and financial resources, yesterday brought good news. I, along with many others
who care passionately about education,
had the opportunity to go to the White House to hear
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama announce
a push to educate the girls of the world. The Peace Corps
of John F. Kennedy now has a new mission–
educating girls so that they can take their
full place as equal citizens of the planet we share. JFK left us with many
memorable quotes to savor. Amongst them, the
following words– “Change is the law
of life, and those who look only to the
past or the present are certain to miss the future.” Today, I have talked
to you about change. Change to the economic and
strategic contours of our world with the rise of Asia. The change we must
all strive to bring– the education of every child. I invite you to
imagine a world where a child at risk of being
out of school in Cambodia ends up with a
quality education. In her later life,
she builds a business that profitably sells
goods throughout the region to the burgeoning middle class. Her key investment partner
an adviser is from the US. Of course, that person
was educated right here. Imagine that story multiplied
millions of times over, and all adding up to a peaceful,
prosperous, and fairer future. Now, surely, that
should give us hope. I thank you. [APPLAUSE] We do have time. Thank you very much for
a lovely, wonderful talk. We have time for questions. There are microphones
on both sides, and we will go back and
forth and take questions. So thank you. I think you got there first. Well done. Well positioned
with the seating. Thank you. Prime Minister Gillard,
let me just sincerely state that it’s such an honor for
us to have you here today. I consider myself a
relatively avid follower of international politics. I’ve been following you since
2010 via the net when you first became a prime minister. So I thought of a
number of questions, but I’ve narrowed
it down to this. Your speech was
mostly about Asia and providing more educational
opportunity across the world. So I think this
question is appropriate. But it’s more specific
to Australia and the US. So the United
States and Australia show very similar racist
immigration history. For the record, the US
did not abolish its whites only European immigrants
policy until 1965. Australia did so in 1973. Do you believe that
successful countries populated by descendants of
immigrants under a whites only policy, such as New
Zealand, Australia, and Canada, and the US, have a duty to
redeem past racist immigration policies by promoting
immigration policy that will bring a higher percentage
of non-white European immigrants? Including providing
the path to citizenship to millions of illegal
immigrants, such as Obama is steadfast on doing, and
providing more generous asylum and illegal immigration
policies in Australia to thousands of
Pacific asylum seekers? Thank you. I’ve been a tad
cheeky in my speech by touching on US politics. But there’s a limit to how many
specific prescriptions I should give for policy over here. But I do know what’s worked,
I believe, in my own nation, in terms of immigration. We have a sizable,
non-discriminatory immigration policy based on skills. Today, our two largest source
countries for immigrants are China and India. They vie for each other. One year, one is
more than the other. But they are the top two. We have welcomed people
from all around the world. I think it’s 40% of Australians
who either are, or grow up in households where their
parents were born overseas. So we are a very vibrant,
multicultural nation. We’ve also run a very
substantial refugee intake policy. We do have clear
pathways to citizenship. Basically, if people
come to Australia, become permanent residents,
then, relatively quickly, they will be able
to become citizens. We do that at very
joyous ceremonies where people take a pledge
of allegiance to our country. We do have issues with
unauthorized arrivals by asylum seekers by boat. We’re an island continent. And I think, when
you are an island, no land borders, you get
quite big community reactions to arrival from the
water unauthorized. And we have seen some big
Australian community reactions. But that has at no
point jeopardized either the fabric of our
multicultural society, or our preparedness to take
in, each and every year, a sizable refugee cohort
from some of the poorest places on earth. In the electorate that
I used to represent in the Australian
parliament, for example, we were welcoming a very
sizable Sudanese community who had all come to
Australia as refugees, and were settling well and
with a great deal of community acceptance. So these things always have
to be carefully managed. But I think there’s
much in our model that’s got the balance right. Thanks for your question. I’ll go over here. You look a little bit lonely. And then I’ll come
back over here. This has been the far
more popular microphone. Madame Prime Minister,
you spoke briefly about gridlock in the
United States Congress. And I’m interested in assessing
that question comparatively. You are no doubt familiar
with the dismissal of 1975, whereby the fact that there
was a constitutional monarchy in Australia allowed
a blocked budget to pass when the House was
controlled by one party, and the Senate the other. Now that we’re coming
up on, perhaps, a new King for
Britain, Australia, and the other realms, what is
your answer on this question? Monarchy or republicanism? [LAUGHTER] Well, I think it’s
a solution to US gridlock. That monarchy horse has well
and truly bolted, hasn’t it? I don’t think anybody’s going
to put that as a solution. I think it would be possible for
us to have the current features that we have now. Effectively, all regal
power in Australia is exercised through the
governor general, who is an Australian, who is
appointed by the queen, but recommended by the
government of the day. And, of course,
the queen has never declined to appoint the
person that the government of Australia asks for. And it’s been a long
time since there has been any exercise of
governor general powers that’s, in any way,
been controversial. The last time– you point to
1975– is a long time ago. And I think the Australian
community got so scared by that budget gridlock
that at no time since has there been a
really steep threat to stop core budget
bills, the bills that fund the working of government. And that doesn’t mean that
controversial, new propositions that come forward in their
own piece of legislation don’t end up courting
conflict between the House and the Senate. But there’s never a
moment where people will have to worry
that the government is going to run out of funding. For me, I think it
would be best if we had a republic with a president
that had the same features. We kept the Westminster
system, but they had some ultimate reserve
powers that they could use in times of acute crisis. But I don’t forecast
that there would be any such budget
crisis looming in contemporary Australia. I can’t imagine
the circumstances that would bring it about. Well, perhaps we can
hope for the same here in the United States. Thank you. Thank you. Yes? Hi, my name is Nate Conrad. And I have one question. Among the many accomplishments
of your administration, you proposed a plan that would
reduce Australia’s fossil fuel emissions by 80%
within 40 years. And now it seems that under
the current administration, that proposal is in jeopardy. I just wanted to
ask you what you think that will mean for
Asian nations investing in Australian energy,
and for Australian energy companies entering Asian
markets in the future? Thank you for that question. There have been two
policies in Australia to fundamentally
tackle climate change. One is a renewable energy
target to try and switch the balance of our
energy generation towards cleaner, greener energy. That target is at 20%, and
that remains unchanged. So that’s still at work
in the Australian economy. There’s been some recent
debate about changing it, but government appears
to have backed off that, and that’s saying. What became tremendously
controversial was when the government
I led enacted an emissions scheme, a price
on carbon economy-wide, covering big polluters. And it was to be a fixed price
for the first three years, and then move to a full market
emissions trading scheme. That emissions
trading scheme has been abolished by the
current government, which I think is a step to
be deeply regretted. I do think that the kind of
transformations the carbon price was bringing was
well positioning our nation to be a clean energy leader
in this time of Asia’s rise and growth, and
could have set us up to be a good developer of
the services and goods that enable this to be possible. I console myself
with the abolition that it’s a known feature
in Australian public policy that sometimes it
takes more than one go around for truly big
reforms to settle in. We have a universal
health care system. It was first enacted
in the 1970s, abolished, reenacted
in the 1980s, and became bipartisan
policy after that. I actually think the
history of carbon pricing will be largely the same. It will be back. I think it will come
back at some point and enjoy bipartisan support. And young people will look
back in bemusement at the era that this was ever controversy
in Australian politics. Thank you. Thank you. I’ll go over here. Kind of bouncing
off that question, Australia has the world’s
largest natural supply of uranium resources. And currently, China and
other countries in Asia are looking increasingly
towards nuclear options as a method of reducing
their greenhouse gas uses. Where do you see Australia
progressing with green– because currently, I believe
the price is very low, so there hasn’t been
as much investment. But where you see Australia
going with its massive uranium resource compared to
the rest of the world? We are a big supplier
of uranium to the world. We obviously have
nonproliferation standards about who we will
export that uranium to, and sometimes they
become controversial within the Australian community. But we are a very sizable
exporter of uranium. As for our local
energy production, I don’t think nuclear fuel
makes sense for Australia. As you would know,
generating nuclear capacity is prohibitively expensive. Depending on your
energy choices, it might well be a
smart investment. But when you’ve got the wide
degree of energy choices that Australia has,
including the abundance of renewable energy sources–
got a lot of sunshine. Just getting that
little plug in. We’ve got a lot of sunshine. Then it doesn’t stack up. But we are certainly
a big supplier into Asia and around the world. So we’ll go over to this side. I actually have a different
constitutional law question. I’m surprised that
I already got one. But I’m in a comparative
constitutional law class, and I was surprised to
learn that Australia doesn’t have a bill of rights
in its federal constitution. Do you think that reform
is needed to create a federal bill of rights? Or what other changes
would you maybe want to make to–
I guess you already touched on one– the
Constitution coming from the Commonwealth. Our constitution– I
just need to say this. It’s a lifetime since I
studied constitutional law. So if we’re going to stick
on constitutional law and get very technical, I might
have to post the answers back, email them back. But our constitution
is really the compact that was entered into
by Australia’s colonies when it was agreed that
they would federate. So Australia’s past is
one of convict settlement in some parts of
the country– people who got shipped off
for doing bad things, allegedly, from
the United Kingdom. And free settlers who came
to parts of Australia, including my hometown. Adelaide has a history
of free settlement. And then these separate
colonies had a long debate about whether they should join
together into being a nation. And the curious features
of our constitution, when you read them,
really stem out of that, that everybody was
trying to protect their patch, even as they joined in
together for this new nation. And their conception of the
role of federal government, then, was of a very limited one. Whereas in the modern age,
the federal government is the most moneyed
and resourced level of Australian government. So, no suggestion when the
Constitution was first drawn up of any sort of citizen rights,
because that wasn’t what it was about. It wasn’t the citizens
and the government. It was colonies creating
a national government. We do have comprehensive
human rights legislation, and quite effective
anti-discrimination laws. But there is still,
from time to time, debate about whether we
should have a human rights enactment in the Constitution. I think, however
desirable that might be, the practical problem is,
to change our constitution, you not only need to get
a majority of Australians to vote for it. You need that majority to
be in a majority of states. So even if more than half the
population’s voted for it, if some small states vote
against it, then it’s done for. And Australians have been
incredibly conservative about changes to
the Constitution. Really, “if it
ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is the dominant ethos. And so, I think
it’s unlikely that a comprehensive human
rights package would make it into the Constitution. Not because we’re
not pro-human rights. I want to say that. But just, people wouldn’t feel
that burning drive for change, because there’s other
ways of complaining about discrimination, and
dealing with rights questions. Yes? Madame Prime Minister,
would you be kind enough to share your perception on the
role of Russia in the new Asia? Yes. I think the role Russia
is seeking to play right around the world should
concern us in every respect, from the military
aggression in the Ukraine, to some of the travesties that
happen within Russia itself, to some of the
influence that it seeks to exert with other nations. People would have been aware
that post-sanctions, arising from the Ukraine, there
was a China-Russia energy deal negotiated. I suspect China well and
truly got the better of that. But to the extent that Russia
tries to influence views in our region, including through
the provision of overseas aid, it is something that needs
to be monitored, watched, and– when
necessary– contained. I don’t think that they have
had that much success in buying hearts and minds in the region. But the risk is ever present. Thank you. Yes? So I’m a graduate
student from Indonesia, and as part of my
undergraduate education, I spent some time at
the ANU in Canberra. And as an Indonesian, I
have specific questions about the relationship between
Indonesia and Australia. And as you know,
the relationship between the two countries
can be rocky at times. And even now, as we
speak, at the moment, there is this big issue
if impending executions of two Australian
citizens in Indonesia due to drug-related crimes. So I have two questions. The first one is,
do you think there is a fundamental difference
between Liberal and Labor governments, when it comes
to dealing with Indonesia? And the second thing
is, what do you think can be improved
on people to people level between Indonesia
and Australia? So, how to improve the
perceptions of Indonesians toward Australians,
and vice versa. So not at the elite level,
but people to people. I don’t think that
there are sharply differing views between
the sides of politics on our relationship
with Indonesia. There are some
different nuances, different levels of emphasis
of particular issues. But overall, all
sides of politics understand how pivotal a good
relationship with Indonesia is to Australia’s future. And I think both sides
of politics, government of both persuasions, have worked
hard on that relationship. I had the privilege of
going as an election monitor to the first free and fair
elections in Indonesia. So I feel like,
personally, I got to see a moment of great
change in Indonesia, and I’ve been incredibly
intrigued to see all of the developments in
governance and civil society since. But I think you point to
an important area, which is whilst we are so
close geographically, and whilst there continues
to be good relationships between governments–
clearly, there’s a very particular issue at the
moment about two Australians and their future. But overwhelmingly,
good relationships. I don’t think that there’s the
depth of people to people links that we need. And many Australians would
think, Bali, and that is it. For them, Bali is Indonesia,
Indonesia is Bali, and they are unaware of the
rich diversity of the Indonesian archipelago. So I think that is something
that– within the policy paper I published, Australia
in the Asian Century, we had a specific
strategy about Indonesia. And it was very much focused
on deepening the community understanding of
the relationship and the breadth of
the relationship. And I think that policy,
philosophy, still recommends itself. Thank you very much. Madame Prime Minister,
you spoke about the need for greater developmental
aid towards education. I am a large supporter of
the increasing education in the developed world. I think that it has
a lot of potential to improve the world and
the conditions of people who live there. But I think the
problem that I always see is that it has to be a
trade off between the short term aid of conflict, and
emergency, and fragility, and the long term
aid of education which, ultimately, will do more. But in the short term, it’s very
hard to ignore those conflicts. So how do you balance
those two things? I think you point to a
really principal tension. And it’s not just education
versus immediate humanitarian provision in times of conflict. Let’s get the tents, the
doctors, the food, the water there. There’s actually a
tension between aid that can show it is delivering
in quicker time cycles. So governments around the world
that are aid donors obviously need to account to their
population for the expenditure of those funds. And it’s much easier
to say, we spent X, and we vaccinated however
many million children, and those kids
will not get polio. Job done. Than it is to the say
to the population, we’re investing X in education. And guess what? We’ll have to do it next year,
and next year, and next year, and next year. So it’s the kind of
investment for the patient, and there’s not
that much patience in contemporary
politics for results. Now, that is one
of our challenges. I think another
of the challenges is that the matrix
haven’t been good. So you can count how many
children you vaccinated. You can count how many children
there are going to school. But people know that there’s a
gap between school attendance and learning, and
now we’ve got to get more sophisticated on how we
measure and report progress in learning. So it’s an advocacy
challenge for us to say, the patient work
has to be done, too. I think there is some
understanding of that. But if we could popularize that
message more in communities, then it would influence
decision makers in government. And it’s certainly one
of the big things we need to do this year in 2015. Thank you. Yes? Thank you. Many years ago, I
had the good fortune of attending a
speech in Melbourne by foreign minister
Gareth Evans. In the Q&A session after,
he must have dropped the F-bomb four or five times. Now that you’re free of the
shackles of political office I invite you to use
that kind of frankness in commenting on Bib
Netanyahu’s speech to Congress the
other day, and to ask if you would come
to the US two weeks before your election
in Australia. I did have the
wonderful opportunity of addressing Congress. But no, it was not two
weeks before the election. I don’t think I need to
resort to swear words. I’m not suggesting that
Gareth’s vocabulary is limited in any way, but I
don’t feel the same pressure. I would count myself as a
very good friend of Israel, and the track record of
my prime ministership is one of a good
friend of Israel. And so I do you
feel able to say, as a good friend
of Israel, that I think this was a poor choice
by the prime minister. I don’t, in any way,
underestimate his concern and passion for
explaining to the world his perspectives on Iran,
and its potential attainment of nuclear weaponry. And if I was an
Israeli leader, then that would be the
number one issue when there would be daylight,
because it is such a threat to the future of Israel. So I don’t, in any
way, underestimate how serious an issue it is. But I think speaking to Congress
in these circumstances– actually, I think the
circumstances of the invitation are probably even more
troublesome than the proximity of the Israeli election. I think the proximity
of the Israeli election politicizes it in Israel. But the principal problem is
the politicization of it here. And it is not in Israel’s
interests to lack strong relationships
and goodwill on every side of the
aisle in Congress, because whatever the twists
and turns of future politics, someone will be up,
someone will be down. And the relationship
between the US and Israel shouldn’t be hostage
to those cycles. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] Thank you. Thank you for your remarks. I have a question about what you
mentioned earlier, specifically regard to Asian opportunities. In Asia, I see many
other countries. As you mentioned
China and Japan are competing for the same
territory land-wise. Indochinese relations are pretty
intense, economically speaking. And there are various
intra-tensions, I’d call them. How does a Western nation–
Australia or US– how do these nations who
don’t necessarily regard these countries as allies
create cooperative partnerships economically in the
aspect of education, so that you don’t antagonize
one of these Asian communities or Asian governments and
be a friend to another. It seems to be a trade off
that if I help one country, another country might
view me disfavorably. How does Australia, or how does
the US– how do these nations have to respond to those
opportunities, those markets, and those governments? I think that’s a very reasonable
analysis of the complexities. And it is complex in
our region of the world, even if you look to other
allies of the United States. So you would say, we’ll have
a great deal of common accord. And we do have a great deal
of common accord with Japan and the Republic of Korea. But there are times
when the relationship between the two of them is
a deeply uncomfortable one. The burdens of history
still weigh heavily on people’s shoulders. And what people view
as unresolved issues, like a satisfactory apology
to the so-called comfort women looms very large. So for an actor of
goodwill like Australia, the art of our diplomacy has to
be maximizing our relationships whilst not blundering in to
the middle of other people’s issues. And can that be done? I believe so. I had the opportunity
a couple of weeks ago to speak at a
lecture in Brussels. I had met that day
with the European Union to talk about the
global education agenda. And that you can view
it as unremarkable to go to the European
Union, that I could view it as the normal doing of
business that you would be at international meetings,
where the chancellor of Germany and the president of France
would be working hand in glove to address the
crisis in the Euro zone, and the prospects of
the global economy. And for anyone
like my mother, who lived through the days of
World War II, this is amazing. How did this happen? If you’d asked her at
many stages in her life whether she would have seen the
kind of cooperation we see now across Europe, she would
have said it was impossible. People were too
ethnically different. The burdens of history
were too recent and hard. The scar tissue was too deep. And then look at what has
been achieved in Europe. So if that is possible–
and it has happened– then it should give us, I think,
comfort about the possibility of building deep, cooperative
arrangements in regions where people historically have
had underlying tensions and grievances. Thank you. So these will be the
last two questions. So the last two over here. G’day, Prime Minister. G’day. We already spoke about
climate change a little bit, but I wanted to bring it back. We’ve been talking about
growth, and carbon emissions are a result of that growth. And a lot of the tension
between developed nations and developing nations now is–
you have nations like the US that are where they are because
they’ve had so many carbon emissions. They’re now starting
to minimize those. But you have a lot of
emitters, like China, whose development is still
relying on those emissions. And it’s that question of
where does the burden lie? On those who are
emitting the most, or those who have historically
developed these systems? So the first question
is, do you have any input on where you think the
burden of climate change lies? And is climate change
in fact a burden, or do you see it at all as
something that can potentially bolster economic and
political collaboration and development in all
nations around the world? That’s a great question. And if I knew the
answer to it, I’d be making sure that I was in
Paris for the climate change discussions at the
end of the year, waving a copy of the answer. This is the principal
question that has bogged climate
change negotiations down internationally. What sphere? And from Australia’s
perspective, we’ve got one of the most
carbon intensive economies in the world. Our carbon intensity per
capita rivals that of the US. We vie with each
other for per capita being the worst carbon emitters. So it’s clear we’ve
got to do something. But when you get to the
burden share question, we’re 23 million people. China is more than a billion. Clearly, in terms of
the magnitude of carbon that’s going in the
atmosphere, the magnitude of carbon that’s being
generated by China is so much more than us. Then if you were
putting the case for China or for many
developing nations around the world– and
China has obviously got that mix in its economy. It’s got huge parts of
wealth, but it’s still pulling people out of poverty. If you’re putting the
case for the developing part of the world, you would
say, you, the Western world got rich polluting the planet. And now when the
planet is saying to us, enough with the
pollution already, it’s us– the people
who aren’t rich yet, the developing
countries– that somehow have to pick up the burden. How does that work? You’ve got the greater capacity. You’re richer than we are. There’s merit in that argument. But ultimately,
the arguments have to give way to the
physical realities that something has to be done. The planet isn’t going
to wait for politicians to retool paragraphs
of communiques until the end of time. And it’s going to be
your generation that will see this far more
starkly than I, though I think I am already living to
see changes in our climate. I think the best thing I’ve
seen in climate negotiations for a long, long time was
when President Obama came into Australia for the
G20, but on the way, made the agreement with
the president of China about China and US
carbon emissions. And yes, you can get
the agreement out, and criticize lack
of specificity around this, that,
and the other thing. But the symbolism of
those two global giants who have been in fixed
and seemingly intractably unreconciled positions
before, coming together and signing an agreement–
this is a big moment. And if that can be
done, then I think more can be done in
the global discussion. But it is a complex mix of
how you weigh in poverty, how you buy in development, how
you weigh in past history, as well as how you weigh
in contemporary emissions by countries. Will it be good for us to live
more cleanly and sustainably? If you had the choice of just
going on with business as usual and not facing these
complex questions, I think many would
say, let’s just go on with business as usual. We don’t have the choice. And so, given we
don’t have the choice, I think there are good
opportunities in cleaner and renewable energy sources. People are so adaptable that
once change has happened, everybody always says,
what was that all about? The final stage of
big change agendas is the declaration that it
was always all inevitable. It seems incredibly hard in
the middle, great big muddle in the middle. When it’s done
everybody goes, it was inevitable that
would get fixed. So I’d like it if you,
when you leave here, could be of the generation that
looks back on these climate change negotiations and says
knowledgeably, to each other and to your children,
it was inevitable that was going to get fixed. The whole climate
thing– of course they were going to fix it. It doesn’t feel like that now,
but I think we’ll get there. Thank you. Good evening. Just today, documents
released by Edward Snowden describes the spying
of non-threat countries by New Zealand, a member of
the Five Eyes spy organization. Australia is also a
member of the Five Eyes. Could you describe
your experience with the organization? And describe how being a
member of this spy organization and participating in
its often questioned activities specifically
affects relationships with Asian countries? Well, even as a
former Prime Minister, I don’t get to wander
around chatting about intelligence matters. So I’m not in a position
to do that tonight. But I will put a
philosophical view, which I suspect many in
the room won’t agree with. I’ve put this philosophical
view when we had– and they’re continuing– but when the
issues around Julian Assange were so explosive in
the Australian media. It might seem old fashioned,
but it is important for nations to understand what is
happening around our planet. And when we are working
in parts of the world where what is happening
is not transparent, we rely on finding out
in a variety of ways. And one key way we
still find things out is because someone is
brave enough to tell us. And for those people who
have been brave enough to do that, who live
in circumstances where, if that became known,
their life, and the life of their families and associates
could be at risk– if you’ve taken the intelligence,
then I think you’ve got an obligation
to protect identity, and to protect their safety. And one thing that
concerns me about the age of, if you get it put it up
online, is somewhere, someone is going to make an
incredible error. And people in some of the
hardest environments on earth are going to pay for that
error with their lives. Now, do our intelligence
agencies always get everything right? No, by definition. Human beings make errors. If you’re in the
intelligence community, obviously you’re
in a slip stream where once you get the
first bit of intelligence, you want more, and
more, and more. That’s understandable. That’s why democratic
nations– it’s important for us to have clear rules and
regulations that are monitored to keep our intelligence
agencies doing what we want them to do, and not
creeping mission into areas that we don’t want them to go. But at every point, these
raises very difficult questions. And sometimes, I think the
public debate dumbs down some of the most
difficult questions. And if I could pose
one of those questions and leave you to think about
it, because the answer is not at all obvious,
we live in a world where people want
maximum transparency. And they tend to applaud
the actions of people like Assange, and
Snowden, and others. Yet, at the same time,
we live in a world where people say, if a domestic
terrorism event happens, why didn’t the
government know, and why didn’t the government stop it? Well, at some point
this doesn’t add up. You can’t say to
your government, you want so much
intelligence collection that there’s no risk,
or only a minimal risk of a domestic terrorist event. And at the same time say, if
anybody leaks intelligence, they’re to be applauded,
and it should go up online. At some point, it
doesn’t add up. And so the degree of risk we are
prepared to bear in our lives domestically, and for our
nations internationally, has to be calibrated against
the degree of transparency we’re prepared to see. But you can’t have zero
risk and 100% transparency. Where you calibrate those
things, given the way they pull against
each other, it’s a very good topic for
the intelligent people of Brown University. [APPLAUSE] So, I want to thank you. I want to thank you again
for coming to Brown. A marvelous talk. Wonderful answers to some
very intelligent questions from our students. So thank you again. [APPLAUSE]

One comment

  1. That intro for Julia was wrong. Some things said were wrong. Including labor club, which is labor party

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