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Greens Back Global Call For Debt Forgiveness

The Australian Greens have joined an international delegation signing onto a letter calling for extensive debt forgiveness from international financial institutions, including the IMF and World Bank, for International Development Association countries. The letter was initiated by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and signatories include Jeremy Corbyn, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Yanis Varoufakis.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi and Adam Bandt MP are the sole Australian signatories to this unprecedented letter.

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WHO should be strengthened, not weakened

The Australian Greens have condemned US President Donald Trump’s announcement this week that the United States will withdraw critical funding from the World Health Organisation (WHO), and cautions the Australian government from signalling any similar action.

As the international body responsible for coordinating the world’s response to pandemics like the current COVID-19 crisis, it is critical that governments maintain their financial commitments to the organisation. 

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Motion: Review of Foreign Aid Program

I move the motion as amended:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that the Federal Government has announced a review of Australia's foreign aid program;

(b) notes with concern that:

   (i) Australia's foreign aid budget has been cut by 27% since its peak in 2012-13, and is well below the average for countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),

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Motion: Asbestos in Foreign Aid Projects

I, and also on behalf of Senator Ayres, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) all forms of asbestos are carcinogenic to humans,

   (ii) according to the World Health Organisation, an estimated 125 million people around the world continue to be exposed to asbestos at work, including in Australia's neighbours in the Asia-Pacific, and the most efficient way to eliminate asbestos-related diseases is to stop the use of all types of asbestos,

   (iii) Australia is a founding member of the Asian Development Bank,

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Order for Production of Documents: Climate Change Action Strategy for the Foreign Aid Program

Voting together, One Nation and the Liberal-National Government blocked the release of the Climate Change Action Strategy for the Foreign Aid Program.

The Motion

I move:

That there be laid on the table by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, by no later than 9.30 am on 1 August 2019, all draft and final versions, produced since July 2018, of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's climate change action strategy for the foreign aid program.

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