Gunnedah, northeast NSW, 3 October
It is not surprising that PM Julia Gillard holds up the charity card to win votes for a temporary seat on the UN Security Council. This is because they have no other credible standing political, or otherwise, to win votes through respect for their legitimate contributions to world affairs. The Daily Telegraph reported that foreign aid to Africa, the Pacific, East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, has increased by $3.02 billion since the bid for a seat on the UN Security Council began.
Australia's two trump cards which are laboriously held up and promoted are its continued participation in war zones and its so-called charity through foreign aid to third world countries. It is an absolute disgrace that PM Julia Gillard promotes this charitable aid as if to suggest that, without this foreign aid from Australia, these third world countries would not survive and thereby making them obligingly obligated to support Australia in its endeavour to get a seat in the Security Council within the UN. This is a brutish act of hammering poorer dependent nation states into not biting the hand that feeds them.
There is absolutely no way Australia can stand alone on merit, due to the constant and gross human rights violations that are perpetrated against Aboriginal people and those seeking refugee status.
It is also important to remind people of Australia's history in respect to its constant efforts to avoid international scrutiny of their human rights violations that are continually being perpetrated against Aboriginal people. As Aboriginal people we know that Australia will not withstand in depth and meaningful investigations of their human rights abuses within Australia. As referred to, historically Australia has conducted many campaigns at the international level, particularly within the UN and its fore runner organisation the League of Nations to avoid being scrutinised.
For example in 1963 the Australia External affairs intervened to prevent the Federal Council of Aborigines Advancement and Torres Strait Islanders from affiliating with the English based Anti-Slavery society, which had requested the right to address the UN Economic and Social Council in Geneva, on the question of discrimination and denial of human rights to the Aboriginal people of Australia. [Fox-Pitt, Thomas 1963, Letter to W. R. Malinowski Secretary ECOSOC, Geneva, National Australian Archives, 856/13/21 897/31 and related correspondence.]
More recently, following the CERD observations of March 2000, when Australia was placed on the Early Warning and Urgent Action procedure for racial discrimination, Foreign Minister Downer's response was: 'If a United Nations committee wants to play domestic politics here in Australia, then it will end up with a bloody nose.' ['Australia headed for the bottom of the human rights pile', The 7:30 Report, ABC TV, 1 April 2000.] Australia then tried to alter the Human Rights treaty bodies' processes.
This demonstrates that Australia is very immature diplomatically and does not deserve to have the right to sit on such an important Council and pass judgement and/or offer advice on how other countries should operate their own affairs.