Canberra & Region Quakers

QPLC Watching Briefs: ICJ/Israel – Russia/Ukraine – Indigenous People – Korea

The Quaker Peace and Legislation Committee has been busy. They’ve recently produced four (4) new and topical Watching Briefs.

Brief summaries and links are below:

1. International Court of Justice & Israel

On 26 January 2024, the Court ruled that South Africa has standing to bring the case to the ICJ. It also produced an interim order that Israel must in effect stop the genocide in Gaza.

The QPLC  a various human rights groups in Australia are calling on the Australian Government to undertake various actions, including to:

  • Acknowledge the ruling of the ICJ;
  • Immediately review its economic ties to Israel and impose targeted sanctions;
  • Suspend all defence industry partnerships and impose a two-way arms embargo – including the exportation of arms and arms components to Israel which are diverted through other countries;
  • Ensure that any Australian citizens serving with the Israeli Defence Forces are investigated in Australia for the commission of international crimes;
  • Support the investigation at the ICJ.
To view or download the full Watching Brief, Click here: WB24-4 International Court of Justice – Israel

2. Russia & Ukraine War Update

Among other developments in Europe and in the Ukraine / Russian conflict, Australia has taken the decision to close the Australian Embassy in Kyiv makes effective communication between the two countries difficult, especially over military support needs, and is straining the bilateral relationship. Thus QPLC proposes that Friends and other members of the public contact current and former Chairs/Vice Chair of the Australian Parliamentary Friendship Group of Ukraine and ask for the Australian Embassy in Ukraine to be reopened and diplomatic staff currently at the Australian Embassy for Ukraine located in Poland to be relocated back to Kyiv.

To view or download the full Watching Brief, Click here:WB24-3 The Russian Ukraine War

3.  The Rights of Indigenous People

In the wake of the Australian public’s rejection of  an Indigenous Voice to Parliament to be included in the Australian Constitution, the QPLC suggests that Friends and members of the public write to Senators and MP’s urging them to support the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in both word and deed, including the promotion of the declaration’s principles through national engagement”, which would “draw connections between national activity and the principles of the declaration” as a next step in achieving reconciliation with our First Nations People and ensuring a better fairer future.

To view or download the full Watching Brief, Click here: WB24-1 The Rights of Indigenous Peoples

4. Towards Peace for Korea – An Update

Building on Women’s International League’s recommendations for a call for the repositioning of Australia as a global and regional peacemaker, rather than a strategic military power, and that Australia work with other like-minded and differently-minded countries to work for a peacefully ordered world, QPLC defines a number of areas for action including:

  1. Contact with Politicians. Messages can be sent to individual members of Federal Parliament reminding them of the ongoing suffering of the people of the Peninsula, emphasizing the risks of ongoing tensions and the arms race for regional and world peace, urging support for a peace treaty in Korea, and urging that at least 30% of treaty negotiators be women. This could be an opportunity for Australia to show its capacity for peacemaking. Messages along similar lines can go to members of the relevant Parliamentary Committees (e.g. Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs,
  2. Contact with Ministers. Questions can be asked of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Defence, and the Prime Minister, emphasising the risks of ongoing tensions and the arms race for regional and world peace, and seeking details about Australia’s commitment to peace on the Peninsula, and the steps it is taking to foster dialogue among all parties to the crisis there. Support moves for a peace treaty to end the Korean war. The Panmunjom Declaration of 2018 should be the basis for moves towards re-unification. Greater efforts are needed to ensure adequate foreign food aid gets to the people of the North.
To view or download the full Watching Brief, Click here: WB24-2 Towards Peace for Korea UPDATE


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