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Australian contribution to the UN Democracy Fund

Human Rights Commissioner welcomes Australian contribution to the UN Democracy Fund

Human Rights Commissioner Dr Sev Ozdowski welcomed the Prime Minister's announcement that Australia would make a $10 million contribution to the United Nations Democracy Fund.

“In recent years Australia has been at the forefront in the Asia-Pacific region in efforts to assist promotion of democratic practices,” Dr Ozdowski said.

“Our efforts with the Solomon Islands Parliament; assistance to the Indonesian Government for legal and institutional reforms; support for electoral reform in Papua New Guinea, are but a few of the major initiatives Australia has assisted with recently in the region.

“It is entirely appropriate that Australia should be one of the first to throw its hat into the ring on the global scale with the United Nations Democracy Fund.”

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) works closely with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in offering its expertise on best practice human rights models for countries wishing to enlarge its capacity in this context.

Australia's Human Rights Dialogue Process (including HREOC as part of the delegation) has engaged with China, Vietnam and Iran. The Australia-China Human Rights Technical Cooperation Program represents the maturing of this interaction and HREOC involvement is central to this joint initiative.

“It is clear that Australia has a great deal of technical expertise to offer with regard to all forms of democratic governance, so it is quite appropriate that we should seek to support the aims and aspirations of the fledgling United Nations Democracy Fund,” Dr Ozdowski said.

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