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Notice given 7 October 2003

624  Senator Stott Despoja: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the extensive history of violence directed towards human rights defenders in Colombia,

(ii) that Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions prohibits violence against civilians in the context of armed conflict that occurs within the borders of a sovereign state and is not of an international character, and

(iii) recognises the importance of human rights work and views with regret any implication that human right s is connected with terrorism;

(b) welcomes:

(i) the Colombian Ministry of Defense Directive 09 of 8 July 2003, obliging the State Security Forces to protect the work of human rights organisations, and

(ii) the Presidential Directive 07 of 9 September 1999, requiring all government officials to refrain from questioning the legitimacy of human rights organisations or making statements that discredit, persecute, or incite persecution of such organizations;

(c) expresses its concern for the safety of human rights defenders in Colombia following recent statements by President Álvaro Uribe Velez, who, in a speech on 8 September 2003, described human rights organisations as ‘politickers at the service of terrorism’ and ‘terrorist agents and cowards who hide their political ideas behind human rights’;

(d) notes:

(i) the important role performed by international human rights organisations in Colombia and the positive contribution made by international observers, including the United Nations Human Rights Commission, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Peace Brigades International, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and

(ii) with concern the continuing allegations of collusion between the Colombian military and paramilitary groups and that impunity continues to be a serious problem within Colombia; and

(e) expresses its hope that the Colombian Government will take steps to make clear its commitment to human rights, and to reduce the harassment suffered by human rights defenders and organisations in Colombia.

626  Senator Brown: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Robin Batterham is also the chief technologist for mining giant Rio Tinto, and

(ii) that Dr Batterham continues to advise the Government on matters relating to Australia’s greenhouse policy;

(b) calls on the Government to conduct an independent review of the advice Dr Batterham has given on greenhouse policy, including carbon trading and geo sequestration, since 1999; and

(c) requests the Minister for Science (Mr Peter McGauran) to make the job of Chief Scientist full-time and conditional on its officeholder having no pecuniary interest which involves real or apparent conflict with any of the duties involved.