STATEMENT - Labor Condemns Beheading

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

 

STATEMENT

 

LABOR CONDEMNS BEHEADING

 WEDNESDAY, 20 AUGUST 2014

The beheading of an American journalist by Islamic State shows the extreme brutality and disregard for human life of the terrorist group.

The family and friends of the journalist, James Foley, must be greatly distressed at the news, and the way it has been broadcast. Federal Labor offers them our condolences and sympathy.

This atrocity illustrates the terrible risks faced more generally by foreign correspondents reporting in war zones.

Mr Foley’s life is just one of hundreds of thousands to have been lost in Syria and now Iraq, but it highlights graphically the extreme and shocking tactics used by IS.

This event reinforces the need for an urgent solution to the conflict in Syria and Iraq.

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STATEMENT - Labor Backs Call for More Help to South Sudan

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

MEDIA STATEMENT

 

LABOR BACKS CALL FOR MORE HELP TO SOUTH SUDAN

 

FRIDAY, 15 AUGUST 2014

Australia can and should do more in response to the food crisis in South Sudan.

The ‘fair share’ analysis released by Oxfam shows Australia should be contributing around $26 million this year – almost twice the amount it currently does.

Instead of lifting our efforts, the largest single cut in the Abbott Government’s Budget was to foreign aid, with one in every five dollars saved at the expense of the world’s poor.

Now we are seeing the Government having to provide emergency humanitarian aid to countries where they have cut Australia’s normal aid program earlier in the year, like Iraq and the Palestinian Territories.

In the last two years of the Labor Government, the aid provided to Syria was more than three times the amount given by the Abbott Government to date, even though the number of refugees in need is increasing every day.

 

The Government’s $7.6 billion cuts to foreign aid are a blow to the ability of countries in the developing world to build up their stability, independence and self-reliance.

It is in Australia’s interests to help countries build stable and thriving economies and societies, rather than waiting to respond to a humanitarian crisis.

Like the Abbott Government’s short-sighted cuts in so many other areas, their cuts to foreign aid are setting us up for much larger costs down the track.

And, as always, the Abbott Government places the heaviest burden on the people least able to shoulder it.

 

 

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MEDIA RELEASE - Labor Welcomes Ausmin Outcomes

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

SENATOR STEPHEN CONROY

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

LABOR WELCOMES AUSMIN OUTCOMES

Federal Labor has today welcomed the signing of the Force Posture Agreement between Australia and the United States.

The agreement creates the legal framework for the rotational presence in Australia of US marines.

It follows the agreement reached between Prime Minister Julia Gillard and US President Barack Obama in 2011, which paved the way for US marines to conduct exercises and training on a rotational basis with the Australian Defence Force in Australia.

Federal Labor also welcomes the continued support for close links between Australian and US special forces, as well as further cooperation on ballistic missile defence.

Today’s announcements build on the work done by the Labor Government and further Australia’s long-held strategic interests in supporting US engagement in our region in a manner that promotes peace and stability.

Federal Labor has welcomed ongoing cooperation between Australia and the United States to address urgent and complex challenges including in Iraq, Gaza and Syria.

Labor supports the leadership shown by the United States in meeting the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, as well as the offer of humanitarian assistance from the Australian Government.

Australia and the United States have been Allies for more than sixty years and we welcome steps that continue to underpin and strengthen this relationship.

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STATEMENT - Humanitarian Situation in Iraq

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THE HON. BILL SHORTEN

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG

 

TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

STATEMENT

 

HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN IRAQ

 

FRIDAY, 8 AUGUST 2014

The humanitarian need in Iraq is significant, urgent and increasing.

We note that President Obama has authorised airstrikes in Iraq as a response to the US assessment that strikes may be necessary to prevent massacres of civilians.

Labor has been extremely concerned about reports of civilian deaths, and most recently, the targeting of tens of thousands of Yazidis trapped on a mountain without food and water.

The reports emerging from Iraq about the persecution by ISIS of any religion other than Sunni Islam are deeply troubling and we understand that strong action may be necessary to protect civilians.

In addition to the authorisation of air strikes should they become necessary, the United States has made airdrops of food and water to besieged civilians.

Australia must also offer humanitarian assistance to the people of Iraq.

I note that Australian government assistance to Iraq last year was $7.7 million. In the May budget that was cut to $0.

The leaders of Iraq should resolve immediately to form an inclusive government and settle the Presidency so that a united front can be presented against ISIS, a violent, extremist organisation.

If Australia is asked to provide military assistance, we would expect detailed briefings from the Government before making an assessment.

I will be meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Sydney next week and will raise the situation with him then.

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STATEMENT - The Conflict in Israel and the Palestinian Territories

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THE HON BILL SHORTEN

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG

 

THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

STATEMENT

 

THE CONFLICT IN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

THURSDAY, 8 AUGUST 2014

Labor calls on all parties to agree to a continuation of the 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza, which is scheduled to end at 3:00pm AEST on Friday 8 August.

With reports of almost 1900 dead, including hundreds of children, we urge the parties to agree to an extension of the ceasefire and work to achieve a permanent end to the conflict.

Labor has been especially concerned that even when taking shelter in UN run facilities, residents of Gaza have not been safe.

Labor deplores the abuse of civilian facilities for military purposes, including reportedly to hide rockets.

Australia needs to work with the international community to facilitate lasting peace and an end to this terrible conflict – including through our position on the United Nations Security Council.

Labor supports an Australian contribution to the huge humanitarian task in Gaza. Gaza has faced enormous social and economic difficulties due to the blockade, even before the recent fighting.

Labor welcomes the $5 million the Australian Government has recently contributed to humanitarian efforts, but notes that this follows an earlier decision by the Government to cut $4.5 million in Australian aid funding this year to the Palestinian Territories.

While the conflict in Gaza has been distressing it is important that debate is kept within civil bounds. Labor utterly condemns any racist, bigoted or sectarian attacks directed at members of our own community or the communities in the Middle East.

 

 

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The Conflict in Israel and the Palestinian Territories

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THE HON BILL SHORTEN MP

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG

 

THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

STATEMENT

 

THE CONFLICT IN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

 

THURSDAY, 31 JULY 2014

The Australian Government must use its position on the United Nations Security Council to push for an immediate ceasefire in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

With reports of more than 1300 dead, including many children, the fighting must end now.

Labor is appalled by the recent shelling of a UN school in a Gaza refugee camp, and attacks on similar facilities.

Labor deplores the abuse of civilian facilities for military purposes, including a Gaza school that was used to hide rockets.

Hamas must stop firing rockets into Israel - more than 2600 so far, and Israel must restrain its response, which has cost far too many civilian lives.

The scale of human suffering has shocked the world.

Australia needs to work urgently with the international community to bring this terrible conflict to an end.

 

 

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AFP Mission in Ukraine

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THE HON BILL SHORTEN MP

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG

 

THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

STATEMENT

 

AFP MISSION IN UKRAINE

SUNDAY, 27 JULY 2014

More than a week has passed since 298 people, including Australian citizens and residents, were shot out of the sky in an act of barbarous terror.

The nation’s shock and grief has turned to frustration as we wait for answers to this unspeakable crime.

This afternoon I spoke with the Prime Minister regarding the deployment of Australian Federal Police officers to Ukraine as part of a Dutch-led, unarmed police operation.

I offered the Prime Minister Labor’s full support for this mission.

The priority is and must continue to be the recovery of the bodies, their identification, and their repatriation to grieving families.

In a dangerous and volatile environment, this is the most sensible course of action.

There is no doubt this will be a difficult mission, but Labor has full confidence in the skill and professionalism of the AFP officers undertaking this task. I know all Australians will keep them in their thoughts.

Labor will continue to seek regular briefings from the Government as the mission progresses.

We owe it to the families of the victims to bring their loved ones home.

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Pre-Deployment of Australian Federal Police Officers

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

ACTING LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

MEDIA RELEASE

 

PRE-DELPOYMENT OF AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE OFFICERS

 

THURSDAY, 24 JULY 2014

The Opposition welcomes the Government’s announcement that around 50 Australian Federal Police officers have been pre-deployed to assist with investigations into the flight MH17 crash.

The priority must continue to be the recovery of Australians, their identification, and their repatriation to grieving families.

This cannot occur without properly securing the crash site. We understand that, if deployed, the AFP officers will form part of an international team tasked with securing the site and properly examining it.

Labor pays tribute to the highly skilled work of the Australian Federal Police, and all other Australian personnel involved.

Labor will continue to seek briefings from the Government as the situation unfolds.

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Joko Widodo Elected President of Indonesia

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

ACTING LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

 

MEDIA RELEASE

 

JOKO WIDODO ELECTED PRESIDENT OF INDONESIA

 

WEDNESDAY, 23 JULY 2014 

The Labor Opposition congratulates Joko Widodo on his election as the next President of Indonesia.

We look forward to working closely with him to further strengthen and deepen the relationship between our two nations.

Indonesia is a neighbour of paramount importance, and a great partner of Australia.

The Indonesian elections were an inspiring exercise in democracy, with around 190 million voters casting ballots at nearly half a million polling stations, spread across 33 provinces.

Labor pays tribute to current President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono who has been a very good friend to Australia and who has played a superbly calm and steadying role throughout the election process.

We are confident that Australia and the President-elect can continue and grow this warm relationship.

 

 

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Best of Luck to Australia’s Commonwealth Games Team

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK

ACTING LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

 

THE HON BERNIE RIPOLL MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR SPORT

MEMBER FOR OXLEY

MEDIA RELEASE

 

BEST OF LUCK TO AUSTRALIA’S COMMONWEALTH GAMES TEAM

 WEDNESDAY 23 JULY 2014 

Labor is sending its best wishes to the Australian Commonwealth Games Team for the 2014 Glasgow Games which kick off tomorrow morning (Australian time).

This Games, over 71 Commonwealth nations and territories will compete in 22 sports over 11 days.

Australia has a proud history of extraordinary success at the Commonwealth Games – at the last Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Australia topped the medal tally, collecting 177 medals including 74 gold.

Labor knows that the members of the Australian Team will make our nation proud through fierce competition in the true spirit of the Games.

We wish the more than 400 athletes of Team Australia, Chef-De-Mission Steve Moneghetti and team officials the very best for a hugely successful Games in Glasgow.

 

 

 

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