LESS than a week since wealthy nations agreed to new UN targets to end global poverty and drive sustainable development, the Turnbull government has failed to put its money where its mouth is and contribute its fair share to meet the goals.
Save the Children has expressed its concern, as the Australian government today launches a new bid for membership of the UN Security Council and UN Human Rights Council.
Save the Children’s Director of Public Affairs & Policy Mat Tinkler said, “Being a good global citizen is about more than participating in the UN’s committees. Australia must fully step up to its responsibilities as one of the world’s wealthiest nations.”
At the UN General Assembly in New York, Australia joined 192 other countries in adopting a new set of goals called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If the SDGs live up to their promise, they will represent a truly seismic shift in how the world tackles poverty, and will go a long way towards ending the glaring global inequalities that the Millennium Development Goals began to tackle, but haven’t fully delivered on.
In order to meet the SDGs wealthy nations must commit 0.7 per cent of gross national income to international aid and development. But at the UN in New York, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop revealed that Australia would not share the load equally with other wealthy nations, stating that the target was “too prescriptive”.
Presently Australia invests just 0.25 per cent of its gross national income on overseas aid.
“To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals wealthy nations like Australia must contribute their fair share to international aid and development. It is one thing to sign up to the SDGs but quite another to back them with the resources needed to deliver them,” Mr Tinkler said.
“Australia can and must contribute its fair share to help end poverty, drive sustainable development and end preventable child deaths,” Mr Tinkler added.