Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download PDFDownload PDF 

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment

HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE BALTIC STATES

Senator Baume, having, by leave, amended General Business, Notice of Motion No. 2 standing in his name, and pursuant to notice, moved-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 3 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 recognized 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 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;

(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, and

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

Debate ensued.

Senator Richardson moved an amendment, viz: Leave out all words after sub-paragraph (b) (v), insert: ''(c) calls upon the Government of the USSR to comply with the obligations imposed upon it by the international agreements on civil and political rights to which it is a party; and

(d) requests: (i) the Australian Government to maintain its policy towards the issue of the Baltic States, including non-recognition de jure of their incorporation into the Soviet Union, and

(ii) that the Australian Government should keep under review the possibility of intervention, through appropriate channels, for example, the United Nations Human Rights Commission, on the matter of human rights in the Baltic States''.

Debate continued.

Question-That the words proposed to be left out be left out-put and negatived.

Amendment negatived accordingly.

Question-That the motion be agreed to-put and passed.