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International Aid and Global Justice

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Government aid decision a mistake: Greens

Senator Rhiannon also gave a press conference on this issue on 9 May.

The Australian Greens say the government's decision to defer the promised increase in overseas aid in this year's budget is a serious mistake. 

"It is disappointing that because it locked itself into obtaining a surplus the government has broken its commitment to increase foreign aid," Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said.

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Why Labor Needs To Honour Rudd's Word on Aid

Read article on New Matilda's site.

Kevin Rudd's pledge to increase foreign aid is at risk of being abandoned by the Gillard Government. Cutting aid to our regional neighbours would be a bad look for Australia, warns Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon

Speculation that the Labor government will not honour its commitment to increase the foreign aid budget is mounting in the week before Budget day.

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Greens move to reaffirm tripartite commitment to overseas aid budget

The Greens will move a motion in both houses of parliament next week seeking to reaffirm the tripartite commitment to the target of at least 0.5% of gross national income going to overseas aid by 2015.

The motion will read:

That the Senate -
a) Reaffirms its commitment to increase Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) to at least 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015; and
b) Calls on the Government to implement a timetable for raising ODA to 0.7 per cent of GNI, the international aid target called for by the United Nations.

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Quarantine foreign aid budget from razor gang cuts: Greens

Greens NSW Senator and overseas aid spokesperson Lee Rhiannon today called on the federal government to rule out any watering down of the Labor government's clear commitment to increase the aid budget.

"If the federal government drops the ball on its commitment to increase foreign aid it will be a setback for poverty alleviation programs and will go down as another Labor broken promise," Senator Rhiannon said.

"Cutting the aid program is small-minded and mean and would further damage Labor's public standing.

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Carr can better Rudd on overseas aid

Greens Senator and foreign aid spokesperson Lee Rhiannon today encouraged Australia’s new Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator Bob Carr to become a strong voice for increased foreign aid funding and greater accountability of aid programs.

“Mr Rudd made his mark on Australia’s overseas aid program but Bob Carr can do more,” said Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon who worked alongside Mr Carr in NSW parliament for six of his ten years as NSW Premier.

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Speech: Attack on aid project in Gaza

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (19:10): I would like to share with senators the story of one woman—a woman who until her untimely death last year was a success story of international development, of self-reliance and self-determination and of the way the Australian overseas aid program can be used to transform lives. I am talking about a dignified woman who was determined to change both her and her family's life, Ms Najah Harb Saleh Qdeih of Abasan village in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

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Estimate adventures with a cameo Yes Minister appearance

When I arrived in the federal parliament back in July 2011 I was told that the Estimates process was probably the best thing about the Senate. “Democracy in action” is how some describe this exhaustive process whereby Senators can ask endless questions of Ministers and senior public servants.

Having just finished my second week of Estimate hearings I do think they are excellent, although frustrating at times. Some Ministers and their bureaucrats are adept at side stepping the questions we pose. But then the challenge is with us to ask the right questions.

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Question: Mekong River

Senator Rhiannon asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 21 July 2011:

In regard to Lao People ' s Democratic Republic ' s (Laos ' ) proposed Xayaburi Dam on the mainstream of the Mekong River, Australia ' s support to the Mekong River Commission (MRC), and Australia ' s bilateral aid to Mekong countries bordering the Mekong River:

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