Jesuit paper reminds Australia of responsibility to Nauru

The Sydney-based Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre today releases a research paper that highlights Australia's responsibilities as former colonial administrator of the tiny Pacific island of Nauru.

Titled View on Nauru - Between a Mined-out Rock and a Hard Place, the paper was co-authored by former editor of the Pacific Report, Helen Fraser, and Uniya's researcher, Minh Nguyen.

It focuses on Nauru - once ranked among the world's wealthiest countries per capita owing to its rich but now depleted phosphate resources, continued dependency on phosphate export revenue has reduced this island state to near bankruptcy. Nauru is a desperate country in need of international assistance.

Announcing this publication, Uniya Director Sr Patty Fawkner sgs commented on the long and historic relationship between Australia and the tiny Pacific island nation.

"For nearly a century Australia has had a significant relationship with Nauru. During the last two decades of administration, Australia was enriched by unfairly appropriating the island's phosphate resources under trust and did very little to prepare Nauruans for independence.

"More recently the so-called 'Pacific Solution' has thrown Nauru a life-line. While acknowledging that this agreement kept essential services running in return for hosting Australia's unwanted asylum seekers, our research paper questions Australia's motivation and the long-term benefits for Nauru.

"As Australian officials arrive on Nauru to sign a further agreement to extend the 'Pacific Solution' there will be a temptation to blur the objective of humanitarian and economic aid to Nauru with Australia's national self interest.

Between a Mined-out Rock and a Hard Place is available for free download (see link below).

Jesuit centre releases paper on Nauru (Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre 13/7/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Between a mined-out rock and a hard place: View on Nauru (Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre July 2005) | Download paper (PDF)

14 Jul 2005