Delegate: Laila Arafe
Event: Pearl-MUN 2006
A democratic country, Australia is also a monarchy. It recognizes the British monarch as sovereign. The British monarch is also Australia's monarch. Australia is an independent nation within the Commonwealth. The head of state, who is the governor general, is appointed by the Queen of Australia (Queen Elizabeth II). There are 3 branches of government: The legislature: the Commonwealth Parliament, The executive: the Federal Executive Council, and The Judiciary: the High Court of Australia and other federal courts.
The Commonwealth Parliament consists of the Queen, the Senate (76 senators, 12 senators representing each state and 2 elected by the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and the Northern Territory (NT) each), and a House of Representatives (150 members, which are selected by the people). The House of Representatives (Lower House) elections take place every 3 years. Every 3 years, half the Senators (upper house) are elected for a 6-year term. The powers of both houses are almost equal. Both houses’ approval is needed to pass legislation; however, due to restrictions placed on the upper house powers; the Lower House became more powerful. The Prime Minister is appointed by the governor-general from the party that has the majority of seats in the House of Representatives. The Prime Minister appoints the cabinet. The Prime Minister’s office is the most powerful in Australia.
The executive branch consists of the Governor-General, the head of government (Prime Minister), and the cabinet (appointed by the PM). There are no elections for the Governor-General, as the monarch appoints him.
The Judiciary consists of the High Court of Australia (chief justice), and six other justices appointed by the governor general.
Australia is the only country that occupies a whole continent. Its capital is Canberra, although its largest city is Sydney. It is one of the largest countries in the world, having an area of 7,614,500 sq. km (7.7 million sq. km). The Indian, Southern, and Pacific oceans bound it. The Arafura and Timor seas separate Australia from Asia.
Its climate is usually dry to semi-arid. In the southeast and southwest the climate is temperate, and in the north it is tropical. It is mostly low plateau with deserts (but still there are mountains), and is fertile plain in southeast. It has 6.15% arable land. Most of the land is desert (40% of the land is covered by sand dunes). There are frequent droughts that last several seasons, and there are occasional dust storms that cover several states or regions. It is slightly smaller than the United States. Being one of the largest countries, its area is wide; therefore there are many lakes, rivers, and mountains in Australia.
The Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef, is located in Australia (north-east coast). Western Australia has the largest monolith (natural feature, such as a mountain consisting of a single massive stone or rock) in the world called "Mount Augustus". Australia also has the largest and deepest basin in the world. The Great Artesian Basin (3000 meters deep) underlies 23% of the continent. It is an important source of water for cattle raising. After treatment, it is important for human activities. It is not suitable for irrigation.
Australia's natural resources include bauxite, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, gold, silver, uranium, nickel, tungsten, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds, natural gas, petroleum. It produces a large diversity of primary products for both export and domestic use. Its agricultural products are (from most important) cattle and calves, wheat, milk, barley, lambs, poultry meat, wine grapes, sugarcane, and fruits. Nuts and vegetables are also produced, and the largest crops include oranges, apples, bananas, potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes. There are also tropical fruits (mangoes, pineapples) in Queensland and the Northern Territory. Dairy products are Australia's fourth most valuable agricultural export. Australia is self-sufficient.
Agricultural and natural resources make up 8% of GDP. They have a large impact of the export performance.
People are mainly concentrated down the southeastern coasts. The Australian population consists of 92% Caucasian, 7% Asian, and 1% aboriginal and other.
The religions in Australia are: Catholic 26%, Anglican 21%, other Christian 21%, Buddhist 2%, Muslim 2%, other 1%, unspecified 13%, and none 14% (2001 Census).
The languages spoken in Australia are: English 79%, Chinese 2%, Italian 2%, other 11%, and unspecified 6% (2001 Census).
Australia thinks all its people have the right to fairness and freedom from barriers based on race, ethnicity, culture, gender, and other differences. They have the right to participate in the community regardless of their background. All Australian citizens have the right to vote in Australia’s government elections.
Economy: Monetary System
The currency used in Australia is the Australian dollar (AUD, or A$). 1 Australia dollar makes 1.31 American dollars.
Australia was ranked 3rd in the UN 2005 Human Development Index, and 6Th. in The Economist quality of life index 2005.
69% of Australia's Growth Domestic Products (GDP) comes from the sector of the economy (tourism, education, and financial services). Although only 8% of GDP includes agricultural and natural resources, they have a large impact on Australia's export performance (65% of exports).
Australia's goal is to become a competitive producer and exporter, not just of traditional farm and mineral commodities, but of a diverse mix of value added manufactured products, services, and technologies.
Australia is a major exporter of agricultural products, especially meat, grains and wool, and minerals, including various metals, coal, gold, machinery and transport equipment, and natural gas. It's major markets are Japan 19.6%, China 10.2%, South Korea 7.7%, US 7.4%, New Zealand 7.2% (2004/05). Their total exports were $127.3 billion (2004/05).
Australia imports machinery and transport equipment, computers and office machines, telecommunication equipment and parts, crude oil and petroleum products. It's main import partners are US 14.2%, China 13.2%, Japan 11.5%, and Germany 5.8% (2004/05). Their total imports reached $149.5 billion (2004/05).
Inflation rate is 2.75%. The economy is growing at the real GDP growth of 3%. As the budget surplus is A$8.9 billion (2005/06), Australia is not in debt.
The Australian Defense Force (ADF) consists of The Australian Army, The Royal Australian Navy (RAN), and The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Each armed service has a chief, and the government appoints one of them as chief of the ADF. Although the forces are numerically small, they are well equipped and trained. The ADF has been involved in numerous services such as disaster relief, UN peacekeeping forces (Sudan, East Timor, and the Solomon Islands). The biggest peacekeeping operation began in 1999 in East Timor.
The military expenditure is $17.84 billion (2005). It is 2.7% of the GDP. Australia has many different kinds of weapons. It has infantry weapons, armored vehicles (700), artillery (376), main battle tanks (71), and aircraft (132). There are 51,791 permanent full-time military personnel, and 21,588 reserve military personnel in ADF. Australia can depend on itself for defense.
The ADF establishes 5 strategic objectives: ensuring the defense of Australia, fostering the security of its neighborhood, working with South-East Asian countries to maintain regional stability, supporting strategic stability in the wider Asia-Pacific region, supporting the international community to uphold global security. This shows that Australia’s defense is strong and depends on itself for defense.
Views on World Problems:
Australia participated actively in international affairs. It agreed with New Zealand and formed the ANZAC pact (agreement) dealing with the welfare and security of the Pacific territories. They also signed an agreement, ANZUS Treaty, in 1951 with the United States and New Zealand, which is the only formal security alliance for Australia.
Australia supported the UN and its agencies. It was a member of the Security Council, Economic and Social Council, and the UN Human Rights Commission.
Australia is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, which provides cooperation and coordination between its nations.
Australia provides development assistance to different countries, with concentration in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. It maintains an international aid program for about 60 countries.
Australia focuses on liberalizing international trades. It recently signed the Free Trade Agreement with the United States.
Australia’s foreign policy includes strong alliance relationship with the United States. The US is one of Australia’s important economic partners, and its closest security ally. Australia’s foreign policy also includes bilateral relationships with Asia Pacific countries. It is the largest provider of development assistance and a major trade and investment partner for South Pacific countries. It is closely engaged in international counter-terrorism efforts both regionally and around the world.
Australia has strong relations with the P5 countries (especially the US) and has always been supportive to the UN Security Council resolutions, which promote multilateral cooperation in areas such as international peace and security. The US relation with Australia became stronger after World War II
Australia has been at the forefront of supporting Iraq in its transition to democracy.
40,000 years ago, the Aboriginals (Aborigines) migrated from south Asia by boat. Before 1770, many explorers looked at the island. From them are Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, and English. Later Captain James Cook explored the East Coast and he claimed for Great Britain.
In 1788, New South Wales was established, Tasmania in 1825, Western Australia in 1830, South Australia in 1836, Victoria in 1851, and Queensland in 1859. Population, wealth and trade increased when gold was discovered in 1851. In 1900, the negotiations between the Australian and the British representatives led to an agreement to constitute the Commonwealth of Australia (1901), which led the Commonwealth Government to establish 2 self-governing territories, in 1978 the Northern Territory, and in 1989 the Australian Capital Territory. On October 9, 1942, Australia became independent in both internal and external affairs. The last traces of the British legal authority were eradicated in 1986 (Australia Act).
After World War II in the 1970s, Australia went through a maintained economic expansion ("long boom"). The population increased by 80%, however, the GDP per capita increased (doubled). The manufacturing sector had its highest growth. The government put restrictions on imports that led to increased profits to the manufacturing industry. In the 1950s and 1960s, manufacturers failed to increase in productivity. The "long boom" ended in 1974.
In the late 1960s early 1970s, Indigenous Australians achieved greater rights. Also at that time, theaters and opera companies were spread across the country. In the 1980s, Australia had trouble with its economy. There was a high rate of unemployment and budget deficit. It took the government strong reforms, like cutting tariffs and privatizing governments, to reduce to deficit until they managed to transform their economy. Economic growth continued in the 1990s at rates higher that most of Australia’s trading partners.
1. Toward eliminating arms proliferation:
Australia, being a democratic country, has the interest of keeping the world safe and promote democracy around the world, especially after the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. Small arms are spreading around the world uncontrollably, and thousands of people are dying for that reason. Terrorist organizations are easily acquiring small arms. People are being threatened globally and regionally.
The government of Australia supports the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), which provides coordination with other governments for arms proliferation. This is an example of the measures Australia is taking in this direction. Effective control should be taken on international trade in technology ands sensitive materials to eliminate arms proliferation.
Australia is one of the countries that are trying to prevent arms proliferation.
2. Detention without trial:
After the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., the US Attorney-General declared the need to sacrifice civil liberties for the war against terrorism. The Australian government put forward a legislation that gives the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) extra power to detain people without trial.
The mandatory detention laws were first introduced in Australia in 1992 that allowed ASIO to detain people for a 273-day limit. In 2002, the ASIO Terrorism Bill was brought foreword. Australia believes that detention without trial is a must because of current issues happening related to terrorism. Because there is no specific place to find terrorists, and the rate is increasing, Australia finds it necessary to detain people without trial.
3. Integration of women in development:
Human rights are privileges that belong to every person. Everyone has the right to live, freedom f speech, freedom of movement, including women since we are all human beings. Women must have equal rights as men; however, they are unfortunately ignored in some areas, and that is inexcusable. It is vital for them to take equal responsibilities in building and developing their countries. In 4 years, the government supplied $2.4 million in order to enhance the participation of women in leadership positions and to support leadership by women in areas that have indigenous or disadvantaged women.
Australia believes the liberalization of women should be supported. They should be able to become leaders, and to participate in community decision making and in political structures. They should take part in development. Australia encourages the integration of women in development. It is important that we give them their rights in releasing their individual potential, and in contributing in their country’s development. Women are part of a global community, and there are no borders around Australia. Australia thinks it is important to have programs that will aid in taking care of gender issues in conflict areas.
4. The Control and guidance on the media:
As mentioned above, human rights are privileges for everyone; yet, there are some restrictions for the security of the government. Freedom of speech or expression is not explicitly protected in the Australian Constitution; in 1942, a Constitutional Convention recommended to amend the constitution to prevent restrictions on the freedom of speech, but the government refused to include this amendment. However, in 1992 the High Court of Australia held that a right to freedom of expression, where public and political discussions were concerned was implied in the Constitution because it was an important necessity for democratic and representative government. Australia published one of the caricatures of Prophet Muhammad in one of its newspapers.
Australia considers what happened in Denmark as a personal opinion, and could be allowed since it does not affect national security. Although Australia believes all people have the rights to show their expressions, there should be guidance on the media in certain circumstances where it affects the national security. Australia thinks governments should have guidance on the media when it comes to national security.
5. Improving the living conditions of Africa:
Most of the African countries are considered poor and are in need of assistance to develop their living conditions. Africa is a priority on the development programs by the international community, including Australia. In 2004, Australia dedicated $40 million in aiding Sudan. Australia's targeted aid programs are directed to Southern and Eastern Africa responding to humanitarian needs, specifically for food, security, and fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS. Australia, across 7 countries in Africa, supports the African Community program to reduce poverty, improve health and security, and fight communicable diseases.
Australia believes the living conditions in Africa should be improved. That way, the spreading of diseases would decrease, and the world will improve economically. As a developed country, Australia believes it is crucial to aid the countries in need and to help them develop.
Submitted by: Australia Delegate: Laila Arafeh Issue: Eliminating Arms Proliferation
Defining arms proliferation as the spread of weapons technology, materials, or other machinery to terrorists,
Defining conventional weapons as weapons that do not include chemical, biological, or nuclear payloads, they are more often used weapons of terrorism, such as bombs and guns,
Deeply Concerned about the uncontrolled spread of small arms and light weapons in many regions of the world which cause threats to peace, security, and safety at all levels (international and regional) and contribute to the deaths of thousands of people day after day,
Keeping in Mind that the spread of these weapons causes violence, and intensifies crime and terrorism,
Aware of the urgent need to prevent/eradicate arms proliferation due to their harmful effects on the safety of each country and the world as a whole,
Taking into Consideration the right of each country to produce and/or import small arms and light weapons for security and self-defense,
Desiring to reduce the human suffering caused by arms proliferation and illegal trade, to promote a peaceful world;
1) Declares the formation on an organization called the Arms Proliferation Elimination Organization (APEO);
2) Affirms that the head would be appointed by the secretary-general, who will in turn select the members of the management committee;
3) Emphasizes that the management committee’s qualified researcher staffs will: a) Make sudden inspections on manufacturers, b) Examine ports, borders and airports’ security systems;
4) Notes that there will be offices to coordinate between nations or countries which will: A. Gather information from countries about: i) The results of monthly inspections on weapons producers in their country, ii) Individuals and groups engaged in illegal trade, B. Send this information to the management committee;
5) Calls Upon meetings to be held quarterly by the management committee to: A. Update information on terrorist organizations, and to identify groups engaged in illegal trade and manufacture, which will: I) Inform the country in concern to take action, ii) Refer to the UN if the country fails to do anything, B. Review latest information on arms sales, C. Review latest information on weapons production and technology, D. Circulate their quarterly reports to member countries;
6) Draws the Attention that the APEO will also consist of a researching program to improve the security measures that will: A. Find new ways to improve security systems that are used to monitor borders, ports and airports, B. Create a tracking system that will track each piece of weapon sold to be able to find weapons sold or smuggled illegally;
7) Trusts the UN to support the Least Economically Developed Countries that cannot afford the installation of reliable inspection systems by supplying them with some;
8) Emphasizes that the management committee will also help countries by: A. Implying laws and regulations to help control the production of conventional weapons, and to stop the illegal manufacture and trade of these weapons, B. Assisting them in placing laws that will establish criminal offenses against illegal manufacturing, importing, and exporting of conventional weapons;
9) Further Proclaims that the sales of arms should be strictly controlled by: A. Banning sales of weapons to terrorist organizations, B. Having manufacturers ask anyone before selling weapons to: I) Specify reason for buying weapons and purpose of use, ii) State where funds are coming from, iii) Sign declaration of no resale without permission, C. Having manufacturers report on sales done;
10) Further Resolves member countries to have annual meetings to give suggestions, and to improve the laws.
Honorable chairs, fellow delegates,
Australia, the land of cultural diversities, the beauty of nature, and the motherland of marsupials, welcomes you all. It is the only country that has a whole continent to itself. Famed for its natural wonders and wide open spaces, encompassed by beaches and deserts, yet ironically is one of the world’s most urbanized countries, and is known for its cities’ attractions.
We are gathered here today, all of us from different countries all over the world to find solutions to major problems willing to make our world a better and safer place. Terrorism is a worldwide issue that threatens every nation. Why should we wait for more attacks to happen? Why shouldn’t we prevent them from starting? We succeed in creating more destruction, more victims, and we’re not protecting our world. When will we eradicate violence?
Australia asks you all to consider the resolutions we pass as the first step towards a peaceful world.