Sunday, July 09, 2006

Nauru accedes to the Geneva Conventions

Many of us will be overjoyed by the glad tidings in a joint press release from the Attorney-General and Minister for Foreign Affairs: Nauru has acceded to the Geneva Conventions and two additional protocols.

This welcome development will help ensure the highest standard of humanitarian conduct should the Nauru armed forces undertake, say, a military intervention in ... er ... the neighbouring coral atoll ... or somewhere ...

At least, this will be so once Nauru actually has an armed forces. Currently Nauru has no armed forces, her defence being the responsibility of Australia under an informal agreement.

The Australian Government’s trumpetting of Nauru's groundbreaking leap into modern human rights law might be cynically interpreted as an attempt to mollify opposition to our Government's immigration bill, currently stalled in the Parliament, which will mandate offshore processing on Nauru of all unauthorised arrivals on our shores.

Nauru’s accession to the Geneva Conventions, however, will probably not assuage critics of the bill who will point to the fact that Nauru has not signed the refugee convention.


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