In this submission, AID/WATCH raises serious concerns about the administration, management and objectives of Australia’s aid programs to Afghanistan in relation to the militarisation of aid and the use of Australian aid to promote mining in Afghanistan.
In this submission AID/WATCH recommends caution in the involvement of the private sector as a driver of poverty alleviation and urges the Government to utilise an evidence-based approach to policies that determine the role of the private sector, and to pay adequate attention to overwhelming evidence where the private sector has clearly acted against the interests of the poor and marginalised.
ISDS provisions have no place in Australian trade agreements not only for the important reason of protecting Australia’s law and policy, but also because ISDS disproportionately disadvantages developing countries who don’t have equal resources to defend cases and who generally do not host private investors large enough to utilise ISDS provisions. Continuing inclusion of ISDS on a case by case basis is strongly recommended against.
In this submission AID/WATCH confirms their support for the Overseas Aid (Millennium Development Goals) Bill 2013. AID/WATCH is supportive of the appointment of an Independent Commissioner to ensure that Australia is adhering to its MDG commitments; however we have further questions related to the details and resourcing of such a position.
EFIC has demonstrated limited to no accountability for investments that have few environmental or social safeguards, and as such has demonstrated little evidence to have learned from past mistakes by continuing a commitment to the risky financing of large scale resource extraction projects such as the PNG Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Project. Given the inadequacy of environmental and human rights standards, and endemic problems with lack of transparency from both multi-national corporations combined with a lack of good governance in many countries receiving EFIC funding, it is essential for EFIC to engage more directly in ensuring that projects it funds meet international standards through adequate monitoring mechanisms.
AID/WATCH made a range of recommendations to the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness to work towards a more just and accountable aid program with the needs of the poor and marginalised as central.
In this submission, AID/WATCH argues strongly against the use of aid to primarily serve Australia’s national and commercial interests. Our arguments draw on extensive research that shows that pursuit of Australia’s interests often serves to further marginalise and disadvantage the poor whom the aid program purports to assist. AID/WATCH has exposed many cases of this, such as AusAID’s Land Reform programs in Melanesia and the Cambodia Railways Project.
AID/WATCH makes three recommendations for the protection of customary land tenure and the prevention of corruption.
This briefing on aid to the Pacific is in defence of customary land in Melanesia. It is argued that the current approach does not aim to radically change customary land systems, rather incorporate them into formal legal and economic structures, namely through customary land registration, there remain many concerns that its effect will radically change such systems.
Placing the profits of Australian private companies ahead of poverty reduction is a misuse of public funds and counter to the needs of people in the Pacific and PNG. This submission includes discussion about tied aid, export credit agencies and governance.