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International Relations

Question

This essay is the upmost urgent.

Two small essays on the following questions. Each essay should be about a page and a half long.

Each paragraph should rise a point without being long-winded and meaningless.

1. Critically explain the concept of ‘good international citizenship’? Is Australia a good international citizen?

2. Australia is not a member of the UN Human Rights Council, but it has played a major role in the promotion of human rights since the 1940s. Critically examine Australia’s role in the development of international human rights since the end of World War 2.

Answer

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Contents

Critically explain the concept of ‘good international citizenship’? Is Australia a good international citizen?. 2

Critically examine Australia’s role in the development of international human rights since the end of World War 2. 3

References. 5

Critically explain the concept of ‘good international citizenship’? Is Australia a good international citizen?

Good international citizenship refers to an area of foreign policy whereby community values influence the manner in which national interests are pursued. Good international citizenship, unlike commercial or strategic interests, cannot be fully understood without close reference to the self-image of the community.

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Nevertheless, this is not to say that elements of good international citizenship should be wholly divorced from elements of ‘objective’ national interest(Paris2001, p. 101). For instance, it is in the national interest of Australia to work in close cooperation with the various players in the international community. This is important particularly in efforts to solve environmental problems like climate change and global warming. If unchecked, these problems can cause harm to Australians.

Similarly, it is in the best interest of the health of the Australian community to offer help in the fight against epidemics such as AIDS which knows no national boundaries(Carter 1997, p. 113). On the other hand, it is in Australia’s security interest that all chemical weapons should be eliminated. In this regard, good international citizenship entails no more and no less than a relentless pursuit of enlightened self-interest.

However, there are many other ways that are not related to the country’s interests, in which Australia demonstrates to the world about its good international citizenship status. The humanitarian impulse to give help to refugees who need access to shelter and food is one of the practices of good international citizenship(Carter 2001, p. 106). Another way of demonstrating these positive attributes is helping out in efforts to alleviate poverty in developing countries.

Evans (1990, p. 2) says that the aspirations to offer humanitarian assistance are motivated by a commitment to certain values as opposed to a calculation of national interest. Australia has been providing help poor to poor countries as well as refugees who are in need of basic necessities of life. For this reason, she is a good international citizen.

Critically examine Australia’s role in the development of international human rights since the end of World War 2.

Australian have been very supportive of international efforts to safeguard, protect and preserve human rights among all peoples since the end of the world war. However, the country has faced criticism for several reasons within this duration. On a positive note, successive Australian governments have been on the frontline in supporting international efforts to come up with a unified human rights framework. The Australian government is one of the signatories in the Universal Declaration of Human rights, which was promulgated immediately after World War II.

Most recently, the Australian has expressed interest in the development of human rights at the international level through the creation of the Human Rights Grants Scheme (HRGS). HRGS is a scheme that supports human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations to carry out various human rights projects that are beneficial to at-risk populations. The Australian government uses this scheme to help in the work of building a vibrant civil society capacity in different developing countries. This facilitates the continued promotion of fundamental human rights at the grassroots levels.

However, the Australian government has also been on the receiving end of human-rights related criticism. Lynch (2010, p. 16) accuses the Rudd government of being silent on the issue of promoting human rights in Asia pacific. On a more positive note, the Australian Defense Force was deployed in East Timor between September 1999 and February 2000. Australia was the lead nation in INTERFET (International Force for East Timor), a multinational force that was established under the United Nations Security Council’s authority (Kelly  2001, p. 101). In conclusion, the Australian government has a very impressive record of supporting and contributing to the development of principles of human rights at the international level since the end of World War II.

References

Carter, A, 1997, ‘Nationalism and Global Citizenship’, Australian Journal of Politics and History, Vol. 43, No. 1, pp. 112-134

Carter, A, 2001, The political theory of global citizenship, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Evans, G, 1990, Foreign Policy and Good International Citizenship, Address by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Canberra, http://www.gevans.org/speeches/old/1990/060390_fm_fpandgoodinternationalcitizen.pdf retrieved on June 2, 2010.

Kelly, M,  2001, ‘Legal aspects of Australia’s involvement in the International Force for East Timor’, International Review of the Red Cross, Vol. 4, No.841, pp. 101-139

Lynch, P, (2010) Australia: Government silent on the role in promoting human rights in the Asia Pacific, Child Rights Information Network, Melbourne.

Paris, R, 2001, ‘Human Security: Paradigm Shift or Hot Air?’International Security, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp.  87-102

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