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Monday, 26 March 2018
Page: 2125


Senator McGRATH (QueenslandAssistant Minister to the Prime Minister) (15:45): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator McGRATH: As formal motions cannot be debated or amended, they should not deal with complex and contested foreign policy matters, particularly when the motion has the potential to damage Australia's relations with other nations.

The Australian government is deeply concerned by developments in Myanmar and Cambodia. We continue to raise our concerns directly with both governments, including during the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit. We have supported United Nations resolutions calling for accountability for human rights abuses; unhindered humanitarian access; and the safe, dignified and voluntary return of displaced Rohingya. Australia supports the UN fact-finding mission on Myanmar and will engage closely with its findings. We have publicly and privately urged the Cambodian government to allow the exercise of democratic rights, including through a joint statement at the UN Human Rights Council on 21 March 2018. We are keeping a range of response options under review for both countries.