Lee moves two amendments to the International Development Assistance motion.
Senator RHIANNON: I move the amendments circulated in my name:
After subparagraph (a)(iv), insert:
(v) the United Nations has urged developed countries to commit to a 0.7 per cent gross national income (GNI) target by 2015 to meet the Millennium Development Goals;
Paragraph (c), omit all words after "Australia's aid program and", substitute "to work towards 0.7 per cent of GNI allocated to overseas aid by increasing funding to 0.5 per cent of GNI by 2017-18".
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Marshall ): The question is that the amendments be agreed to.
Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (15:54): I seek leave to make a short statement.
The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Marshall): Leave is granted for one minute.
Senator RHIANNON: It is incredibly disappointing that neither the Labor Party nor the coalition will today support the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of a target for aid funding of 0.7 per cent of GNI. Countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Sweden have all met this goal. Not only has Australia lagged behind, but the recent Labor government, under a succession of ministers, continually deferred even a conservative target of 0.5 per cent of GNI. In 2008 foreign minister Stephen Smith committed Australia to a target of 0.5 per cent of GNI by 2015-16. This was reaffirmed in 2009, 2010 and 2011. In 2012 foreign minister Bob Carr deferred this target to 2016-17. In 2013 he delayed it again, to 2017-18, despite the ALP's own platform calling on the party to work towards a goal of 0.7 per cent. It is disappointing to see them vote with the coalition to block such a call in the Senate.