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Notice given 15 December 2006

*2944  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) (a) On 1 December 2006, why did Australia vote against the series of resolutions of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly reaffirming the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people; and (b) to what extent is this consistent with the: (i) Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and (ii) the Fourth Geneva Convention.

(2) Why did Australia vote against this resolution given the overwhelming UN General Assembly support for the adopted resolution on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine,.

(3) Given that Australia has voted for such resolutions until 2004, does Australia’s no vote indicate a change in Australia’s position on Palestine.

(4) Does the Government’s recent history of abstaining or voting no indicate that it no longer considers Israel to have ignored the rulings of the UN Convention and International Court of Justice (ICJ).

(5) Does the Government no longer recognise Palestinian rights.

(6) Why did Australia: (a) boycott a meeting of the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention that was to discuss alleged violations by Israel of the convention in its treatment of Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza; and (b) vote against the UN resolution in 2004 condemning Israel’s barrier wall, judged illegal by the ICJ.

 

 (7) To what extent has this vote allowed Israel to annex more land from Palestinians.

(8) Is it the case that the Government supports a Palestinian homeland on the conditional acceptance of Israel to peacefully exist within secure and defensible borders; if so, how do the borders of this homeland vary from the borders established in 1967.

(9) Does the Government consider that: (a) the Palestinian homeland state should be geographically contiguous; if not: (i) why not, and (ii) does the Government consider that the current non-contiguous homelands of West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem are able to be formed into a viable state; and (b) Israel should accept the right of Palestinians to peacefully exist within secure and defensible borders of West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

(10) Is it still the case that the Government considers that the Hamas-led Government must recognise Israel, renounce violence and adhere to all previous agreements; if so, does this also apply to Israel; if not, why not.

(11) (a) In the 39 year occupation by Israel of Palestinian territory, how many people have been killed by acts of violence by each respective party; and (b) to what does the Government attribute the difference.

*2945  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) Would an upgrade of the United Kingdom’s nuclear-armed Trident submarines be consistent with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

(2) Is the Government concerned that moves by the United Kingdom to upgrade its nuclear-armed Trident submarines would encourage horizontal nuclear weapons proliferation.

(3) What is the Government doing, if anything, to discourage vertical nuclear weapons proliferation in: (a) the United States of America; (b) the Russian Federation; (c) the United Kingdom; (d) France; (e) the Peoples Republic of China; (f) Israel; (g) Pakistan; (h) India; and (i) North Korea.

*2946  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) In which year, or over which years, did Australia decommission its stockpile of cluster munitions.

(2) If the decommissioning of Australia’s stockpile of cluster munitions took place during the term of the Howard Government, what was the motivation behind the decommissioning.

(3) Why has not the Government supported Norway’s call for an international treaty to ban cluster munitions.

(4) Will the Government attend a meeting to be convened by Norway in Oslo early in 2007 for the purpose of working towards an international treaty to ban cluster munitions.

(5) Which types of cluster munitions does the Government label: (a) legal; (b) discriminating; and (c) reliable.

(6) What types of cluster munitions does the Government label illegal under international humanitarian law.

 

 (7) In what circumstances can a government legitimately use cluster munitions.

(8) What involvement, if any, has Australia had in the use of cluster munitions in: (a) Afghanistan; and (b) Iraq.

*2947  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—With reference to defence equipment exports as defined by the Defence and Strategic Goods List, for each of the top 200 export approvals:

(1) What was the value.

(2) What equipment was involved.

(3) To what country or countries was the export made, or is planned to be made.

(4) What organisation, company or government department was the planned recipient of the approved goods.

(5) What assistance was provided for the sale by the department or Austrade.

(6) What safeguards in the form of end user certificates were obtained.

*2948  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) Does Australia intend to expand its relationship with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

(2) Does the Government support the NATO policy of: (a) nuclear first strike; and (b) nuclear sharing.