The International Development Policy of Austrilia
It’s important to consider gender equality in the international development policy of Austrilia, as women and girls often face discrimination and exclusion. Gender-based violence is a serious problem in many parts of the world, and one in three women have experienced this form of abuse. Women with disabilities often lack access to education and other important services, such as reproductive health care. Therefore, Australia’s international development policy should leave no one behind.
The Australian Government’s International Development Policy is a major contributor to the global community’s efforts to address the challenges of poverty and inequality. While advancing a sustainable global development agenda is a priority for the Australian Government, it is not the only area of Australia’s global engagement. This article draws on publicly available written submissions to the Australian Parliamentary Inquiry into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It also draws comparisons between the stakeholder priorities and the Government’s SDG-VNR and FATRC report.
Human rights-based approach
Human rights-based approaches to international development policy have been a staple of Australian foreign policy for several years. Based on human rights legislation, these approaches repoliticise development work while acknowledging the role of human rights in human development. However, these approaches have tended to domesticate the same old development. Instead of bringing a broader spectrum of people into development discussions, rights-based approaches tend to reinforce existing policies.
Australia’s approach to international engagement demonstrates a willingness to work hard and will be especially important as the global community faces new challenges. Economic development has produced greater prosperity for billions of people across the world, based on the principles of open trade and investment and security. Globalisation has ushered in times of unprecedented interconnectedness and interdependence. These are exciting times to be an Australian. However, the new priorities of Australia’s international development policy must reflect its regional soft power ambitions.
Despite a relatively good economy and low unemployment, the Australian Government is cutting its aid program. The next budget is expected to cut 4.9% of the aid budget, despite the government’s pledge to commit around a billion dollars to the response to the COVID-19 epidemic in the region. Official measures of Australia’s development assistance (ODA) as a proportion of GNI are projected to fall by 0.32% in 2021-22. Nonetheless, most of the new initiatives announced this year will be wound down and no new ones will be funded.
The Australian government has a partnership agreement with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). This relationship aims to strengthen Australia’s international development sector, including strengthening the capacity of NGO’s to engage in advocacy, learning and development initiatives, and policy dialogue. DFAT’s contribution to ACFID’s advocacy activities is in addition to member fees. This arrangement reflects Australia’s commitment to improving its development assistance program.
Vision 2020 Australia
The vision for 2030, known as ‘Vision 2020 Australia’, is a framework for international development that was launched in 1997. It was launched by the Ministerial Council on Forestry and Fisheries (MCF) and is a collaboration between state and territory governments and the plantation timber industry. Its aim is to triple the number of commercial tree crops grown on plantations in Australia by 2020. Its success will depend on the commitment of government leaders.
VISION 2020: The Right to Sight
VISION 2020: The Right to SIGHT is a global initiative to end blindness. It aims to eliminate blindness globally by 2020. In addition to addressing blindness in its early stages, this program is committed to improving vision care services. The program also includes several measures to support the achievement of VISION 2020’s goals. For example, this program will support the implementation of the World Health Organization’s definition of vision as the “right to sight”.