Read the MAPW submission to the Foreign Affairs & Trade White Paper on Foreign Policy - submitted February 28 2017

On 28th February 2017, MAPW made a submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade white paper on Australian Foreign Pollicy. 

(Click here to read the submission in full).

The key recommentations are as follows,

• Australia participate constructively in the UN negotiations in March and June/July this year for a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons

• Australia’s approach to a rules-based international order be applied impartially in all instances

• Australia develop approaches to global security issues that are independent of those of our major ally the US and that promote:
     o Peace rather than war as a response to conflict
     o Our own and the wider global interests rather than US interests
     o Increased ongoing funding (legislated as a percentage of GDP) for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade enabling greater             active diplomacy and diplomatic posts commensurate with our position in the OECD

• The Australian Parliament legislates to provide foreign aid at the OECD recommended level of 0.7% of GNI, and that this aid is           explicitly used to further the UN Sustainability Development Goals

• War powers be reformed so that any decision to deploy the ADF into armed conflict can be made only by parliament (with adequate       provision for a genuine emergency), and after expert legal and strategic advice

• Any proposal to deploy the ADF into armed conflict be accompanied by estimates of the likely civilian costs in the region concerned,   and how the needs of civilians in or fleeing conflict zones will be met

• Civilian deaths, injuries and displacements as a result of military action supported by Australia be officially recorded in all instances

• Australia acts on its commitments to protect health workers and facilities in conflict zones, and supports independent investigation       of all such attacks in a non-partisan fashion

• Australia observes the provisions of the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees

• A high-level independent inquiry is held into the decision-making process that involved Australia in the 2003 invasion of Iraq

• Australian troops be withdrawn from the Middle East

• Australia adopt a non-partisan approach to the conflict between Israel and Palestine and work with other nations to ensure a     just and sustainable settlement

• Australia develops a well-funded national strategy to promote peacemaking, drawing on the experience of past interventions both   within DFAT and internationally

• Australia increases DFAT funding to increase peacemaking capacity, staff and missions. Non-government expertise should be       identified and used as needed

• Australia establishes a unit for improving capacity and training in mediation conflict resolution skills both here and overseas

• Australia increases engagement with and support for multilateral organisations, non-government organisations and experts     that support peace processes

• Australia negotiates in good faith on a fair and permanent maritime border with East Timor

• Australia prioritizes working with other countries through economic relationships and treaties to contribute as much as possible     to preventing climate change.

• Australia works with our neighbours by offering assistance with sustainable energy practices, renewable energy technology,      land rehabilitation, agricultural methods and water security.

• Australia recognises and takes measures to help prevent the threat of land inundation in many countries in our region.