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Monday, 8 October 1984
Page: 1355

Senator PETER BAUME —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

That the Senate-

(a) having regard:

(i) to the desire of all people to live in peace and freedom and to enjoy basic human rights, including the right to self-determination,

(ii) to Australia's membership of the United Nations and regard for the principles of its Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples adopted by its General Assembly on 14 December 1960 by Resolution 1514 ( XV), and the Final Act of the Helsinki agreement, and

(iii) to the fact that, whilst the Australian people have acquired these rights and freedoms, other peoples are deprived of them; and

(b) taking note:

(i) of the Resolution of the European Parliament on the situation in the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) adopted on 13 January 1983,

(ii) of the fact that the three Baltic States were independent sovereign republics and members of the League of Nations during the years 1918 to 1940, when they were occupied by the Soviet Union in consequence of an agreement between the then German Government under Hitler and the Soviet Government under Stalin (the so-called Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact),

(iii) of the fact that the occupation of these States by the Soviet Union still continues, but that in accord with other democratic governments the Australian Government has not recognised de jure their incorporation into the Soviet Union,

(iv) that the peoples of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are being denied many basic human rights (as indicated in the unanimous Report of the Australian Parliamentary Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence entitled 'Human Rights in the Soviet Union', presented in November 1979), but that they have not given up their struggle for self-determination and freedom, and

(v) that an intensive process of Russification is taking place in these occupied countries aimed at elimination of the indigenous languages and culture; and

(c) resolves:

(i) that Australia, as a member of the United Nations, should fulfil its obligations to promote and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and should support the European Parliament's Resolution in respect of the Baltic States,

(ii) that in order to do so the Australian Government should, on its own initiative, and by seeking the support of like-minded governments, bring the question of human rights and self-determination for the Baltic States before all appropriate forums of the United Nations, and especially before the United Nations Human Rights Commission as a priority topic under the agenda item 9 entitled 'The Rights of Peoples under Colonial or Alien Domination', and

(iii) that the Department of Foreign Affairs should be directed to take all necessary steps in order to implement this resolution.