The Foreign Policy versus the Asylum Policy Debate
16.2.11In the bid to determine “astute” funding cuts to pay for our QueenslandFlood Recovery program, last week the Coalition proposed cutting ahandful of foreign aid programs (including spending cuts of $448 millionfor four years to an “anti-terrorist” Islamic primary school in Indonesia) asthe viable and “smarter” alternative. Unbeknown to the Coalition in thedays ahead were the heated rows and disputes inevitably unfolding, whichencapsulate the divisive issues within the party (and on the outside) onsubject matters of refugees, aid and foreign policy.In the past fortnight, we had the “privileged” of witnessing the uprising of Egyptians against the military regime imposed by their President HosniMubarak that ultimately lead to an overhaul of their current politicalsystem. The protest-turned-demonstrations-turned-revolution brought thepeople of Egypt a brand new day – the dawning of unfathomable politicalimaginings. The challenge now for Egypt is not only to reestablish apolitical system that meets (the majority of) of her people’s needs andaspirations, but also to appease some of the more powerful First-Worldcountries with the common values embedded in their political ideologies;in a nutshell, these are: stability, democratic, and equality. The political imperative for Egypt is to strengthen the economy. No doubtin her efforts to do so, Egypt will require assistance from First-Worldcountries in the form of aid and international agreements to ascertain thekinds of political reforms required to foster better international relationsand (hopefully) without bearing the cost of her people’s plight. Theopportunity here for Egypt and her allies is to plant seedlings thatultimately resolve conflicts in the in foreseeable future.Putting measures such as foreign aid when given (however small) atregular intervals over consistent periods, can fuel a range of objectivesaside of reaching UN’s 2015 Millennium Development Goals for globalpoverty. Funding aid programs, such as educational, training andemployment programs to impoverish communities in its efforts toannihilate terrorism and such, can assist to stabilise the country, whichcan lead to a decrease in the kinds of political upheavals that renders hercitizens to seek asylum elsewhere; unless of course, the threats arecoming from somewhere else.So that in a bid to determine “astute” funding cuts, removing multi-lateralprograms in the areas of Refugees, Foreign Affairs, and Aid can have farreaching and lasting impact for internal and international politics than hadanticipated.