LL:ART: CORPORATIONS HIJACK EARTH SUMMIT

2002-09-04 Thread CPA

The following article was published in The Guardian, newspaper of the
Communist Party of Australia in its issue of Wednesday, September 4th, 2002.
Contact address: 65 Campbell Street, Surry Hills.
Sydney. 2010 Australia. Phone: (612) 9212 6855 Fax: (612) 9281 5795.
CPA Central Committee: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
The Guardian: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Webpage: http://www.cpa.org.au
Subscription rates on request.

**

CORPORATIONS HIJACK EARTH SUMMIT

The US, Canada, EU and Australia have in the past thwarted attempts by 
the world's nations to conclude a comprehensive agreement to reverse the
destruction of the environment: the Earth Summit in Johannesburg is no
exception. As 20,000 people marched on the summit from the Alexandra
township demanding an end to poverty and a halt to environmental
destruction, the rich nations were busy trying to hijack the gathering.

Against sustainable development they were promoting corporate
self-regulation; in place of specific and binding guidelines to cut the 
use of finite, ozone-destroying fossil fuels, they were pushing their
globalisation agenda.

Driven by big oil the US and those clinging to Uncle Sam's coat tails --
with the Howard Government especially reaching new lows in subservience 
-- the rich nations set out to deliberately derail the Summit.

This has put the chance of an agreement on sustainable development in 
grave doubt. As The Guardian went to press ministers at the Summit were 
claiming that a blueprint on issues was being negotiated and that 
countries had agreed to slow the loss of biodiversity rather than halt 
it. But the rich nations were still rejecting the means for cutting the 
use of fossil fuels.

Environmental organisations at the Summit have slammed the corporate
lobbyists and their government representatives for promoting weak 
voluntary agreements instead of binding regulations.

Friends of the Earth summed up such voluntary agreements as secretive 
and undemocratic and ineffective and short sighted. On the first day of 
informal discussions at the Summit Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and 
Third World Network obtained a leaked copy of a joint US/EU negotiating 
paper which outlined the aim of converting the Summit into a world trade 
meeting.

The groups said that the paper moved forward the rich countries' trade
liberalisation and corporate globalisation priorities at the expence of
addressing issues of environmental protection, poverty relief and
sustainable development.

They noted that the Earth Summit is the only political process where
governments are supposed to be able to negotiate freely around global
environmental and development problems, irrespective of their size or
economic power.

The US claims that an unaccountable corporate sector can deliver
sustainable development when recent scandals in the US show that
corporations such as Enron and WorldCom are not even accountable to 
their auditors.

The Australian Government has played its part, lobbying against even a
mention of the Kyoto protocol on climate change in any final agreement.
Greens Senator Bob Brown, who is at the Summit, said that the Howard
Government had been humiliated by being bumped down the speakers' list 
to last spot.

Australia is seen as a spoiler at the Summit, said Senator Brown, and
when it was realised that Prime Minister Howard was not coming, the 
speakers list was changed. It shows how badly Australia is seen here.

Senator Brown said the Earth Summit is showing the power of greed over 
green and leaving the coming generation with some unfixable social and
environmental problems.

The neo-liberal economic policies being foisted on the world, primarily 
by Northern Governments and the international institutions they 
dominate, are failing people and the planet, said Friends of the Earth 
International Chair Ricardo Navarro.

Inequality is increasing and poverty in many countries is getting 
worse. Forests, minerals and fossil fuels are being exploited at an 
ever-increasing and utterly unsustainable rate.

Democracy is being eroded as economic power is concentrated in fewer 
hands. Environmental standards, biodiversity and cultural diversity are 
all under threat.

Alternative to corporate globalisation

Environmentalists put forward a plan for sustainable economies as a 
concrete alternative to the corporate globalisation agenda. Its key 
principles are:

* Sustainable development is dependent on the equitable and sustainable 
use of limited resources.

* Sustainability must be based on economic diversity. Different models 
of development are appropriate in different societies and communities. 
The one size fits all approach of the WTO and IMF is doomed to failure.

* Effective corporate control must be introduced, including corporate
accountability and liability rules and international anti-trust legislation.

* Stronger international institutions and mechanisms are required to 
protect the principles of equity and 

LL:INFO: VWT Unpaid Labour Questionnaire

2002-09-04 Thread Kate Kearns

VICTORIAN WOMEN’S TRUST/ UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND

Unpaid Labour Questionnaire

The Victorian Women’s Trust and the School of Social Sciences at the
University of Queensland is gathering information from women in Victoria 
as part of a research project to evaluate women’s unpaid labour and its 
value to the Australian market economy.

The project is designed to assist women to identify and recognise the
enormous value of their unpaid labour, and to provide data that will 
drive a public policy reform process that properly values women’s vital 
contribution to Australia’s society and economy.

You can assist in this process by providing us with your valuable 
insight and experience. Your contribution will help to fuel future 
advocacy and public policy reform. Please feel free, also, to forward 
this email on to friends and colleagues.

There are two parts to the research process, a questionnaire and focus 
group discussions.

Questionnaire:

The questionnaire is being e-mailed to the Trust’s online database. Your 
participation, by way of completing and returning this document, would 
be greatly appreciated.

Focus Groups:

We invite you to participate in small group discussions so that we may 
learn more about your experiences of unpaid labour. These focus groups 
will take 2 hours and will be facilitated by Dr Helen Johnson of the 
University of Queensland during the first week of October 2002.

Focus groups are planned for the Mornington Peninsula on Monday 30
September, in Wodonga on Wednesday 2 October and in the Central 
Highlands on Thursday 3 October. If you are interested in participating 
in one of these forums, please contact Trish Pinto at the Women’s Trust 
on (03) 9642 0247 or [EMAIL PROTECTED]

Please indicate your preference for a morning or afternoon session.

Many thanks.


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LL:ART: Australia's role in threatened war against Iraq

2002-09-04 Thread CPA

The following article was published in The Guardian, newspaper of the
Communist Party of Australia in its issue of Wednesday, September 4th, 2002.
Contact address: 65 Campbell Street, Surry Hills.
Sydney. 2010 Australia. Phone: (612) 9212 6855 Fax: (612) 9281 5795.
CPA Central Committee: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
The Guardian: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Webpage: http://www.cpa.org.au
Subscription rates on request.

**

Australia's role in the threatened war against Iraq

Australia's military role in the war on Iraq will be Lilliputian.
Australia's political and moral support for the US will be significant. 
The role played by the US bases in Australia will be profoundly important.

by Denis Doherty National Co-ordinator Australian Anti-Bases Campaign
Coalition

In considering the looming US first strike on Iraq, it is useful to
re-examine Australia's role in the war against Iraq in 1991 (the Gulf War).

During the Gulf War, a senior figure in the Hawke Ministry suggested 
that even if Australia sent every aircraft, ship, tank and soldier to 
the Gulf, it would be less of a contribution to the war effort than the 
role of the joint facilities in Australia.

The Financial Review (25/1/91) reported that Australia described the 
role of the joint facilities as its major contribution to the war during 
discussions with the other members of the multi-national force in the Gulf.

So why send troops at all?

The Financial Review article explained:

The reason is simple: because of the intense secrecy surrounding the 
role and function of the facilities Australia was not able to state 
publicly that it would make its major contribution through the facilities.

All this is true today.

Secrecy

Australian Governments both Liberal and Labor have been extremely 
secretive about the US bases here, primarily because they know the bases 
will become a political embarrassment if the Australian people find out 
what they are really doing.

The Howard Liberal Government was, however, unusually frank about the 
bases when Defence Minister Senator Hill made his first visit to Pine 
Gap (near Alice Springs) on August 15 this year.

Pine Gap will be used for war

In an interview with the Centralian Advocate he said, I can't specify 
the details, but Pine Gap is a major intelligence facility, which would 
be utilised in the event of military action against Iraq.

Apart from The Guardian (August 21, 2002 -- Issue No. 1105) no other 
media printed these remarks and no television footage of Senator Hill's 
August 15 press conference was broadcast.

By hosting the US bases, Australia plays an important role in US war 
plans bases against Iraq and other poor and defenceless nations.

Regardless of what Australian and US Governments may claim, they are
war-fighting bases.

In addition to Pine Gap, the most important, there are over 30 other US
facilities on our territory and they all play a part in US efforts to
suppress any nation which is not, as Clinton said, a free market economy.

What Pine Gap does

Pine Gap is one of the largest and most important US satellite ground
stations outside mainland USA.

It recently took over the functions of another base, Nurrungar. It now
monitors infrared sensors which pick up the launch of missiles.

At present Pine Gap is being upgraded with an old DSP (Defense Satellite
Program) system being replaced by SBIRS (Satellite Based Infra-Red 
System), which is part of the new US missile defence program.

Pine Gap began its life as a signals intelligence (SIGINT) base. Since 
then it has been collecting electronic signals, regardless of how they 
were sent. Right now the Pine Gap SIGINT satellites have their sensors 
turned onto Iraq.

The SIGINT system operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week gathering
communications which are analysed, usually through key words using a 
Echelon computing system. Right now experts will be informing the 
Pentagon about the morale of the Iraqi people.

Finding targets

Pine Gap also assists the Pentagon with finding targets. The US is 
seeking both military and civilian targets as it intends to bring Iraq 
to its knees.

Crucial infrastructure such as electricity, water, sewerage, health and
other services were attacked in 1991 and will be targets again if the US
launches an attack on Iraq.

This is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.

Senator Hill, in a press release on August 15 this year, said that all
activities at the joint facility are carried out with the full knowledge 
and concurrence of the Government.

If this is so and the US is committing war crimes, will Australia be 
hauled before the International Criminal Court for war crimes too?

The Pine Gap facility monitors the Iraqi military, observing, recording 
and marking them for destruction by US nasties from guided missiles to 
the Daisy Cutter.

Reconnaissance by Pine Gap of Iraq will note activity centres and built 
up areas. Analysts will be poring over photographs and entering