Albanese Government’s early commitment to Australia’s international aid, climate change and Uluru Statement from Heart is vital

The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) – Australia’s peak-body for Australian aid NGOs – warmly welcomes Prime Minister Albanese’s statement valuing the importance of Australia’s international aid, delivered on his fifth day of office.

Prime Minister Albanese was reported saying:

“The truth is that international aid is not only the right thing to do to developing countries, it is in our national interest to engage and to provide support to developing nations.” The Australian 27 May 2022

ACFID CEO Marc Purcell said:

“The Prime Minister’s statement reflects the true values of Australians who have consistently supported international development programs and humanitarian responses in times of crisis; not just in our neighbourhood, but wherever the need arises.

“The truth is, Australia benefits from these relationships of mutual support as much as our neighbours.

Further, in a landmark speech delivered in Suva yesterday, Australia’s new Foreign Minister Penny Wong outlined Australia’s strong commitment to Pacific Island countries, stating that:

“As Australia’s first ever Climate Minister, I know the imperative that we all share to take serious action to reduce emissions and transform our economies.

“Nothing is more central to the security and economies of the Pacific.

“I understand that climate change is not an abstract threat, but an existential one.

“We reaffirm that climate change remains the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific.”

Marc Purcell continued:

“We believe Foreign Minister Wong’s clear commitment to climate action sends a strong signal to the Pacific Islands community that Australia intends to address this collective problem with the energy and focus it deserves.

“This is essential for Australia’s reputation in the region.

“Australian development organisations and their Pacific local partners stand ready to assist the Australian government help make climate action a reality.”

Purcell went on to welcome the Government’s commitment to the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which was supported by the ACFID Council (Resolution 2017/1).

Purcell states:

“We believe that the Government’s commitment to the Uluru Statement from the Heart and an Indigenous foreign policy is hugely important for Australia as a nation. Dealing with our own history of colonisation and racism effectively with Indigenous Australians will enable us to be a better country, and to relate more sensitively and respectfully with our diverse neighbours”.

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