Australia y su nueva politica exterior. Se prepara para intervenir en los violentos conflictos de las Islas Salomon - Australia Outlines New Foreign Policy

29.Jun.03    Análisis y Noticias

Thursday June 26, 2003 9:09 PM


CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - The Australian
government on Thursday branded
multilateral forums such as the United Nations
“ineffective and
unfocused'’ andsaid its foreign policy will
increasingly rely on “coalitions of the
willing'’like the one that waged war in Iraq.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer also said that
in Canberra’s view, other
nations’ sovereignty was “not absolute.'’

The assertive new doctrine outlined by Downer
came a day after Australia
announced it would lead an international force of
troops and police to
restoreorder to the violence-wracked Solomon
Islands in the southwest Pacific.

Downer’s speech reflected comments late last year
by Prime Minister John
Howard that Australia would be prepared to launch
pre-emptive strikes against
terror targets in Asia - words that sparked
outrage in Asia.

Downer’s doctrine is likely to cause further
unease among Australia’s Asian
neighbors. For example, Mahathir Mohamad, prime
minister of Malaysia, a
predominantly Muslim nation and longtime critic
of Australia, has accused
acting like a deputy sheriff to President Bush.

The impact of international terrorism was brought
home to Australia on Oct.
12 when 88 of its citizens were among 202 people
killed in the bombings on
theIndonesian resort island of Bali.

Australia’s decision to send 2,000 troops to
support the U.S.-lead war in
Iraq without U.N. sanction “has signaled that we
are prepared to take the
harddecisions to enhance our security,'’ Downer
said in a nationally televised
address to the National Press Club.

“Some multilateral institutions will remain
important to our interests,'’ he
said. “But increasingly multilateralism is a
synonym for an ineffective and
unfocused policy involving internationalism of
the lowest common

He added: “We are prepared to join coalitions of
the willing that can bring
focus and purpose to addressing the urgent
security and other challenges we
face. … Sovereignty in our view is not
absolute. Acting for the benefit of
humanity is more important.'’

Howard and Downer announced Wednesday that
Australia stood ready to send
troops and police to the Solomon Islands if New
Zealand and other Pacific
joined the peacekeeping force. The proposed force
follows a request for help
from Solomons Prime Minister Alan Kemakeza.

The Solomons have been torn by ethnic violence
since 1998, and the government
has little control outside of the capital,
Honiara. Howard said the Solomon
Islands was in danger of becoming a failed state
that could be exploited
“international drug dealers, money launderers,
international terrorism.'’

Australia would “pay dearly'’ if it did not act,
he said.,1280,-2838161,00.html