23 November 2017
Trump, Trade, Terrorism White Paper fails on the big challenges facing Australia
The Government has sidelined almost 9000 public responses to its foreign policy consultation and missed a once in a generation opportunity to develop a vision that addresses the big challenges and opportunities facing Australia and the world.
“The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, said she wanted to hear from communities. The Australian people have spoken – 9 out of 10 responses to the consultation stressed the importance of aid, climate change, poverty and inequality in our foreign policy. They have been ignored,” said Campaign for Australian Aid Director, Tony Milne.
“This is a Trump, Trade and Terrorism White Paper with major challenges such as climate change and global inequality left as footnotes at best. The White Paper laments moves to nationalism and protectionism but fails to recognise the underlying drivers of that growing public sentiment such as the extreme concentration of wealth and the global rules rigged in favour of the wealthy and powerful.
“The Foreign Policy White Paper should encapsulate the kind of world we want to live in and the role Australia can play in helping to realise that vision. Instead, it paints a bleak vision for our future world and Australia’s role within it.
“The Government has failed to elevate the importance of international development in delivering Australia’s foreign policy with no indication that aid will increase from its lowest level ever. By sidelining aid, we are failing our duty to people living in some of the poorest parts of the world and are tying one hand behind our back when it comes to foreign policy.”
The Campaign for Australian Aid has released its own people’s Foreign Policy White Paper, One Humanity. Developed by over 10,000 people, it calls for action on poverty, inequality and climate change as core priorities for how Australia should engage with the world.
“Mitigating and adapting to climate change should be central to Australia’s foreign policy, alongside tackling gender and economic inequality, global poverty and addressing the underlying drivers of humanitarian crises and forcibly displaced people,” said Mr Milne.
Notes to editors:
The One Humanity Paper is available here. More than 9 in 10 submissions to the Government process were from public forums and online consultation led by the Campaign for Australian Aid and its members.
Media Contact: Sarah Cannata 0407 536 133 or email: [email protected]
About Campaign for Australian Aid
The Campaign for Australian Aid is a joint initiative of aid and development organisations, church, business and community groups, who believe we can and should do more as a nation to end extreme poverty around the world.