Tony Abbott

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Opening the front door wider

The Comprehensive Plan of Action for Indochinese Refugees (CPA) has been praised for upholding ‘international solidarity’ and responding to what was the burgeoning refugee crisis of 1989.[1] It has also been criticised for its execution, with critics arguing that it is an example of international buck-passing and questionable compromises. Regardless, the CPA has since affirmed itself as a practical model that allowed policy makers to combine humanitarian principles of compassion with political pragmatism.

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AusAID: why Australia and the world’s poorest need it

On September 18 Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the government’s decision to effectively abolish AusAID by integrating it into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). He cited ‘confused responsibilities, duplication and waste’ as reasons for the merger, and suggested that now the ‘aid and diplomatic arms of Australia’s international policy agenda are to be more closely aligned’. The decision elicited a concerned response from NGOs and others involved in the aid sector, who defend the existence of AusAID on the grounds that foreign policy and development issues are not the same thing, and should not be treated as such.

Read moreAusAID: why Australia and the world’s poorest need it