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Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Page: 1490


Senator MOORE (Queensland) (16:02): I, and also on behalf of Senator Rhiannon, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria is staggering, and that according to Oxfam and CARE - two non-government organisations (NGOs) operating in the region - estimates suggest that:

   (A) more than 100 000 lives have been lost and more than 2.2 million people have fled the country since 2011,

   (B) an estimated 9.3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, and

   (C) around 6.5 million people have been forced to flee their homes and remain trapped inside the country,

(ii) most refugees are hosted by Lebanon and Jordan, with estimates of over one million refugees in Lebanon alone,

(iii) more than 80 per cent of refugees are living outside of camps, in informal shelters, and

(iv) as winter rapidly approaches in the region and temperatures plummet, many refugees have inadequate shelter; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to:

(i) provide critically needed assistance at the upcoming donor conference to be held in Kuwait in January 2014, which addresses both the immediate and long term needs of people affected by the crisis,

(ii) contribute its fair share of funding to the United Nations (UN) new appeals for Syria, as well as calling on other international donors to follow this example,

(iii) continue to actively use all diplomatic channels, including Australia's membership on the UN Security Council, to drive work towards a political solution to the crisis, and to facilitate an effective humanitarian response from the international community, through pushing for increased access for humanitarian agencies, including NGOs like CARE and Oxfam, to enable them to reach people most in need of assistance across the region, and

(iv) actively support the Geneva Two peace talks scheduled for 22 January 2014, and by pushing for an urgent ceasefire and actively promoting the critical role of the Syrian people and civil society, especially women, in this dialogue and any ongoing peace negotiations.

Question agreed to.