Australia and the UN have a rich history of collaboration and dialogue, and as the turn of the decade approaches, we are now playing a key role in the implementation of the Agenda 2030 plan.
Our citizens, national interests and major industries have been sold out to a corporate-fascist agenda that is unfolding right before our eyes.
Published on 29 April 2019 for Free Subscribers and made available to the public on 3 January 2020.
AUSTRALIA AND THE UN
The United Nations (UN), a multipurpose international organization with unprecedented scope and membership, has experienced a rapid rise to become the premier body on world affairs today.
The UN was established to work on a broad range of issues, from sustainable development, environment and refugees protection, disaster relief, counter-terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation, among others.
The first complete forerunner of the United Nations was the League of Nations and Australia benefited greatly from organisation, including establishing the Australian League of Nations Union (ALNU), an organisation that would reshape the country’s image into international diplomacy.
The UN was established in 1945 by 51 countries, who met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter.
Australia was a founding member of the United Nations and has been actively engaged in the organisation since its formation, with Herbert ‘Doc’ Evatt working extensively on the project and the development of both the UN and various charters.
Evatt went on to become the third President of the UN General Assembly from 1948 to 1949, and during his tenure, he was instrumental in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Evatt expressed views that the UN structure concentrated power in the hands of too few and was therefore not very democratic.
Since then, Australia has been actively involved in ‘peace operations’ for over 70 years, providing military and police personnel to 62 United Nations, and other multilateral peace and security operations.
Australia has also served four terms on the Security Council, in 1946-47, 56-57, 73-74 and 85-86.
The General Assembly elected Australia to serve on the Human Rights Council, the UN body responsible for the promotion of all human rights across the world, from 2018-2020.
Most are unaware, however, that this is only just scratching the surface.
According to Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs, since 1945, Australian foreign policy has been informed by the underlying principles and purposes of the United Nations.
During the mid-20th century, as a new era of globalism emerged, and the UN began incrementally bypassing national sovereignty to enact a number of trade deals and international pacts.
This includes the Lima Declaration, which had massive implications for domestic industries such as manufacturing and laboring, which began closing business or moving offshore as a result.
Today, the UN is regarded by the government as the world’s pre-eminent conflict resolution body, as an essential forum for world cooperation, and as the mechanism for responding to transnational challenges to human and international security.
Australia contributes financially to the United Nations through timely payment of its “assessed share” of the regular budget, currently 1.51 per cent of the total, and through payments to the budgets of the various UN agencies.
In March 2008, senior United Nations officials travelled to Canberra to meet Prime Minister Kevin Rudd with the aim was to “repair relations”.
Since then, there has also been a rapid push towards aligning Australia’s national policies with United Nations visions, all in anticipation for the establishment of coming plans for the new world.
Agenda 21 was signed by the Australian government in 1999, which was a document primarily focused on the environment and resources control.
A new document has since emerged, entitled UN Agenda 2030, which addresses virtually all areas of human activity and is a true blueprint for world governance, taking the principles laid out in Agenda 21 to an entirely new level.
In September 2015, 193 Member States of the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development .
Included in the document are Sustainable Development Goals and 169 individual targets, adopted by world leaders in at an historic UN Summit, objectives expected to guide the actions of the international community over a 15-year period (2016-2030).
The SDGs build on the eight Millennium Development Goals first planned at the start of the century, representing a shift in the world’s vision and approach to ‘development’.
Over the next fifteen years, with these new goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change across the world, while “ensuring that no one is left behind”.
The economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development call for “a fully integrated approach” that engages everyone.
Countries are expected to take ownership and establish a national framework for achieving the 17 Goals, including with a commitment between the UN, governments, private sector and civil society to work together in a more coordinated and integrated way.
The aim is to create a ‘sustainable framework’ for countries across the planet by integrating three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental.
All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan, and individual people, universities, governments and institutions and organizations of all kinds are working on several goals at the same time.
In each country, governments are now translating the goals into national legislation, developing a plans of action, establishing budgets, and are actively searching for partners. Poor countries, with the support of rich countries at the international level, is also crucial.
International think-tanks and commissions have also been established to continue engagement and bilateral conversations until 2030, such as the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, United Nations Conference on Environment and Development and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (also known as Rio+20).
But just how exactly is the Australian government implementing this new plan?
Australian government coordination on implementation of the 2030 Agenda is led by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), in collaboration with individual departments for each individual SDG.
Many sustainable development targets, such as energy and water, health and wellbeing, gender equality, climate change, resource distribution and more, have already seen many organisations introduce policies and procedures to align with intended goals.
To track progress, the Australian government has an official Reporting Platform on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators, designed to provide a single point of access for anyone interested in government data on the SDG Indicators.
The platform forms part of a comprehensive package of reporting on Australia’s progress on the SDGs, which includes Australia’s 2018 Voluntary National Review, examining SDG developments.
The review draws on the activities, engagement and leadership of key civil society, academic and business organisations and their members.
In particular, the Australian Council for International Development, the Global Compact Network Australia, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Australia, the Australian Council of Social Service and the United Nations Association of Australia.
DFAT is working in close partnership with civil society to advance the 2030 Agenda, and their policy, DFAT and NGOs: Effective Development Partners, emphasizes the need to for civil society groups to adopt multi-stakeholder approaches to sustainable development.
Indeed, the building blocks are well-and-truly established and now the plan to consolidate the policies, lifestyles, beliefs, resources and minds of each country is now underway.
Agenda 2030 will change our economies, our environment and our societies, and will change old mindsets, behaviours and patterns forever.
To this notion, the Australian government has been hard at work in conjunction with the United Nations to continue to push this agenda in a number of practical ways.
This information has been taken from our latest membership piece, Agenda 2030: Australia’s Role in the United Nations, and has been made available for Free Subscribers of our website.
In this membership piece, we take a look at all aspects of Agenda 2030, including the history and development of the UN, our involvement in the world body, the document, future directions of the plan, and an in-depth analysis of Australia’s implementation of ‘Sustainable Development Goals’.
Subscriber Content is a new category we have introduced that contains specific focuses or individual topics from Member Content, which looks to explore deeper questions relating to the public themes we publish about.
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