2013 is designated by the UN as the International Year of Water Cooperation, as well as the International Year of Quinoa. These special observances are to commemorate, promote and mobilize for action.
MONDAY 7 OCTOBER 2013
AUSTRALIA AND THE UN: REPORT CARD 2013
AUSTRALIA AWARDED ‘A’ FOR SECURITY COUNCIL AND GENERAL ASSEMBLY, ‘D+’ ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND ‘F’ FOR TREATMENT OF ASYLUM SEEKERS
The UN Association of Australia (UNAA) launched the 2013 ‘Australia and the UN: Report Card’ on Tuesday 8 October 2013.
The Report Card evaluates the Australian Government’s performance against international laws and norms embedded within the UN system, focusing on the performance of the Labor Government between 2007 – 2013.
The Report Card overall paints a positive picture of the Government’s performance, with Australia’s resounding election to the UN Security Council, stewardship of the Arms Trade Treaty and increased funding to UN agencies. Australia was awarded an ‘A’ for its commitment to the UN General Assembly and Security Council.
Australia’s performance on aid and development, disarmament and non-proliferation, human rights and gender equality were all given ‘B’ – an improvement since the 2007 Report Card.
However Australia’s performance is not entirely without blemish, with Australia being awarded ‘F’ on the topic of refugees and asylum seekers. Julian Burnside AO QC authored this chapter of the Report Card and argues that “both major political parties pursued electoral success by promising increasingly harsh measures directed at deterring asylum seekers from coming to Australia by boat.”
Australia also has great strides to make in the area of climate change, with its performance being awarded ‘D+’. Professor Robyn Eckersley authored this chapter and noted that Australia’s mitigation targets were very low compared with other developed countries, while our reliance on fossil fuels continued to grow.
Australia was awarded ‘C+’ for its performance in relation to Indigenous people, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda arguing that a referendum to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution is “an opportunity to redefine our national identity based on recognition, respect and inclusion.”
UNAA PRESIDENT DR RUSSELL TROOD IS AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT.
UNAA Executive Director Elizabeth Shaw: 0402 853 852.
The UN Association of Australia is a national non-profit organisation dedicated to informing the community about the work of the UN and seeking to advance the goals of the UN in Australia and around the world.