International Affairs Commission

Movers George, I.G.C.

Noting the work of the International Affairs Commission the General Synod resolves:
(i) That the GSIAC Report (circulated in advance) be received
(ii) That the GSIAC Occasional paper on Global Citizenship be commended to member dioceses for study;
(iii) That the General Synod commend the holding of provincial International Affairs Consultations run by GSIAC
(iv) That this Synod:
(a) As a body of citizens of a responsible nation-state concerned to contribute to global issues, expresses its alarm at the number of major conflicts in the world and at the consequent rise in the number of refugees, currently estimated at over 20 million;
(b) Urges the Australian Government to be generous towards refugees and towards the rehabilitation of failed states, thereby reflecting our Christian calling to show mercy and compassion to those in need;
(c) Appreciates the increased efforts made by the Government to hasten the processing of refugee claims; but nevertheless requests the government not to reduce the current number of immigrant places allocated to refugees and, given the current needs, to fill the allocations for each category, including refugees suffering discrimination on religious grounds;
(d) Recognising that the conditions in the countries of origin of refugees deter substantial numbers of refugees from returning, urges the Australian Government:
(i) to take whatever opportunities are available, both bilaterally and multilaterally, to help resolve the political, social and economic problems which gave rise to the refugee exodus, especially in our own region;
(ii) to allocate an adequate level of foreign aid, without detriment to existing aid programs, designed to improve conditions in countries of origin, and to enable as many refugees as possible to be repatriated;
(e) Also urges the dioceses of the Anglican Church of Australia:
(i) to encourage parishes and diocesan organisations to sponsor refugees;
(ii) to develop appropriate parish-based educational programmes;
(iii) to participate in existing community refugee resettlement schemes; an
(iv) to promote stronger support for the Christmas Bowl Appeal and other funds or agencies such as the Archbishop of Melbourne’s International Relief and Development Fund and the Archbishop of Sydney’s Overseas Relief Fund which support refugees in their need; and
(f) Further asks the General Secretary to forward the text of this motion to the Australian Government, to the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the Federal minister for Immigration and the Federal Opposition spokesperson on Immigration.
(v) That this Synod deplores the Australian Government’s use of retrospective legislation [Migration Legislation Bill, (No.2), 1994] to minimise its financial obligations, under Australian law, to a class of human beings who are seriously disadvantaged.

[The Most Reverend I.G.C. George – 6-7-95]

Resolution year: 1995
Resolution number: 47/95