Melbourne, Mar 26 : Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has said he wants his country to play an activist's role in the international arena.
Before going on his first major overseas tour, Rudd has put forward a foreign policy agenda designed to help Australia deal more effectively with the uncertain global financial outlook, as well as problems such as climate change and terrorism.
"If Australia fails to engage with the global economic, security and environmental challenges, we will simultaneously fail to deal with their impact on our own country," AAP quoted Rudd, as saying.
"That means in order to advance Australia's interests at home, we must increasingly be engaged with other nations in responding to the challenges to those interests abroad," he added.
Rudd further said that Australia's voice has been too quiet for too long across the various councils of the world.
"That is why during the course of the next three years, the world will see an increasingly activist Australian international policy in areas where we believe we may be able to make a positive difference," he added
Rudd also said that in an increasingly interconnected world, policy makers were constantly faced with new global challenges with significant domestic impacts.
The 18-day journey will take Rudd to the United States, Britain and China, with stops in Brussels to meet European Union leaders and Bucharest for the NATO summit.
He will have a diverse agenda - the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, trade and the global credit crisis - as he meets world leaders including US President George W Bush, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Rudd has made brief sorties to Indonesia and the Pacific, as well a whistle-stop visit to Iraq and Afghanistan, since winning government last November. But this trip will be his first major foray on the international stage.