Prime Minister Gillard must show global leadership in new UN role on aid

General, Media Releases, News article written on the 21 Jun 2012

Oxfam Australia congratulates the Prime Minister on her appointment as co-chair of the United Nations Advocacy Group for the Millennium Development Goals.

Oxfam Australia Executive Director Andrew Hewett said the appointment was both a great honour and a great responsibility, as the Prime Minister would be leading the world’s final push to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

“Her appointment comes at a crucial time, as the recent and ongoing financial crisis has put pressure on rich nations’ budgets,” Mr Hewett said.

“This year, we’ve seen global aid levels in decline for the first time in 14 years. This decline must be arrested, and developed countries need to re-commit to the cause and demonstrate to the world that they will not balance the books at the expense of the world’s poorest people.”

He said the appointment of the Prime Minister demonstrated international recognition that Australia’s aid budget had been growing.

“But it is not an indication that Australia’s job is done,” Mr Hewett said.  “Of the 23 OECD nations that give aid, Australia only ranks 13th.

“The Government’s budget announcement that they would delay achieving the 0.5 per cent target, for the sake of a surplus, was very disappointing.

“The Prime Minister must demonstrate the global leadership that is now required of her and strengthen Australia’s efforts to reach the target that will see 50 cents from every $100 of our national income go to aid.

“Upon her return to Australia the Prime Minister needs to work with the Coalition to re-establish an ambitious and bi-partisan deadline to reach the 0.5 per cent target.”

For more information please contact Laurelle Keough on 0425 701 801