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Thursday, 29 May 1997
Page: 3965

Motion (by Senator Brown) agreed to:

That the Senate:

(a)   warmly welcomes the visit to Australia of Nigerian Ogoni leader, Komene Famaa;

(b)   deplores the massive social dislocation and environmental damage being done to the Ogoni people's homelands;

(c)   expresses its grave concern at continuing reports of gross abuses of human rights in Nigeria;

(d)   calls on the Australian Government to:

   (i)   put the Government of Nigeria on notice that without immediate and dramatic action to improve the human rights situation in Nigeria and to restore political and civil liberties, Australia will be obliged to downgrade bilateral relations and push for Nigeria's expulsion from the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Britain later this year, and

   (ii)   offer increased aid assistance for Nigerian refugees who have fled to Benin; and

(e)   calls on the Senate President to:

   (i)   transmit the terms of this resolution to the Nigerian High Commissioner in Canberra, and

   (ii)   write to the British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs expressing the Senate's grave concern about the treatment of the Ogoni people and to urge the British Government to put the Nigerian Government on notice on the same lines as set out in subparagraph (d) (i) above.