APSNet 21 July 2010
- Running up the white flag on foreign affairs
- Switch off the autopilot in the Pacific
- Time to practise what we preach on human rights
- Leaders fail to make case for Afghan mission
- Leaders renew vows of support for Afghanistan
- Pakistan weighs in over asylum seekers
- Trouble for the chief after PNG judgment leaves loyalties out for taking
1. Running up the white flag on foreign affairs, Daniel Flitton, Age, 2010-07-21
Tony Abbott will abandon an intensive two-year global campaign for Australia to win a United Nations Security Council seat, vacating the field to European rivals and squandering $7.3 million already spent to lobby for a place at the world’s top table. But the savings gained in walking away from the bid – small when compared to any number of expensive Defence programs – ignores the costs to Australia’s prestige and clout in foreign affairs.
2. Switch off the autopilot in the Pacific, Michael O’Keefe, Age, 2010-07-16
This sums up Australia’s historical approach to the South Pacific; policy autopilot until a crisis fills the broadsheets, followed by orthodox responses that do not really work and then a return to business as usual. In short, there has been a policy vacuum from Canberra since the initial response to the coup, despite several inflammatory escalations and signs of an emerging humanitarian crisis developing on the ground.
- Concern over Fijian dismissals, Malcolm Brown, SMH, 2010-07-19
3. Time to practise what we preach on human rights, Cynthia Banham, Age, 2010-07-21
Australian diplomats appeared at a session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva in early May to dispense some friendly advice to Kiribati and Lesotho. Strange how Australia feels so free to go around telling other nations what they should be doing on human rights, yet it has such an aversion to cementing any of the same rights that Australians hold dear into law.
4. Leaders fail to make case for Afghan mission, Editorial, SMH, 2010-07-21
Facing the fourth election since the 2001 deployment, Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott show little interest in having any debate [on Afghanistan], even though these are among the gravest decisions facing any leader. Recent events ought to have brought home the costs of this war, in human life and in dollars. As the conflict intensifies, with no clear end in sight, those who would lead this country have a duty to explain their plans.
- Australia ‘lacks clear Afghan strategy’, Russell Skelton, Age, 2010-07-17
5. Leaders renew vows of support for Afghanistan, Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Mark Landler, NYT, 2010-07-20
American, European and other foreign leaders met to pledge anew their support for Afghanistan, agree to entrust it with more spending decisions, and embrace its president’s commitment for Afghan forces to take charge of security by 2014. They acknowledged that neither the public in their own countries nor the Afghan people had much patience left. The transition timetable, which President Hamid Karzai outlined last year, is nonbinding and essentially unenforceable, and much depends on how and when responsibilities will be transferred. The conference’s final statement stopped short of any firm commitment to the timetable, instead expressing “support for the president of Afghanistan’s objective.”
6. Pakistan weighs in over asylum seekers, Sally Sara, ABC, 2010-07-21
Pakistani immigration officials say the Australian Government’s six-month freeze on processing new applications from Afghan asylum seekers has had no effect on the number of Afghans trying to make their way to Australia. Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency says the measure has not delivered any change.
7. Trouble for the chief after PNG judgment leaves loyalties out for taking, Hamish McDonald, Age, 2010-07-21
The war drums of political change are beating across the capital of Papua New Guinea, as defections and a no-confidence motion threaten the grip of the Prime Minister and ”Grand Chief” Sir Michael Somare. But Somare is now threatened within and without his ruling National Alliance.