Monthly Archives: November 2008

ACTU calls on Australian government to play “an active and positive” role

The Australian Council of the Trade Unions (ACTU) called on the Australian Federal government to play “an active and positive role” on the issue of Western Sahara at the UN, in a letter it sent to the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs last June.

ACTU recalled Minister Stephen Smith of the position adopted by the Labour Party in its last three national conferences, and indicated that Australian Trade Unions are paying a growing attention and concerns to the situation in Western Sahara.
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Melbourne plays host to African Studies conference

29/11/2008- AWSA
By: Cate Lewis
Many scholars from around Australia and abroad attended the “31st annual conference of the African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific” (AFSAAP) hosted by Monash University. It was held in the centre of Melbourne at the State Library of Victoria’s conference centre 26-28 December 2008, and entitled Building a common future, Africa and Australasia, see
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Inaugural launch of the Australian Parliamentary Friendship Group with Western Sahara


The Australian “Parliamentary Friends of Western Sahara Group” was officially launched Wednesday night (26 November 2008), during a dinner held at Parliament House in Canberra.  The inaugural dinner was attended by many members of Parliament from all parties, members of the Diplomatic Corps, representatives of NGOs and trade unions as well as members of the Australian Western Sahara Association (AWSA).
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A Voice for the Voiceless

By: Congressman Joe Pitts
A “ghost, a living dead, a young woman back from a kind of hell that bears no name.”

These are the words of Aminatou Haidar, a human rights activist from Western Sahara, upon her release in 1991 from captivity by Moroccan security officials. Ms. Haidar hails from Western Sahara, a coastal nation just south of Morocco.

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Trade unionists call for solidarity with Western Sahara

By Margarita Windisch

The 6th Congress of the Western Sahara General Union of Saguia El Hamra and Rio de Oro Workers (UGTSARIO) took place from October 19-21, 2008, in El Aaiun, one of four Saharawi refugee camps in the Hamada desert in south-west Algeria.
Three Australian trade unionists (two from the Australian Workers Union –AWU — and one from the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance — MEAA) travelled thousands of kilometres to attend the congress
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Aminatou Haidar address, 25th Annual Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award

Remarks by Aminatou Haidar
25th Annual Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, November 13th, 2008
Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC

Saharawi human rights activist addressed the audience participating to the reception organised on her honour last Thursday in Washington where she received the Robert Kennedy Award for Human Rights.

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Robert Kennedy Human Rights Award to Saharawi woman, Aminatou Haidar

Africa’s Last Colony
Gilonne d’Origny 11.15.08, 12:00 AM ET

On Nov. 13 in Washington a brave woman named Aminatou Haidar was presented with the Robert Kennedy Human Rights Award. She has risked her life under Moroccan oppression to protect her fellow Sahrawi, the people of Western Sahara, who have suffered oppression, torture, kidnappings and murder at the hands of Morocco.

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National Workshop on the Future of Phosphorus; 14 Nov 2008

The National Workshop on the Future of Phosphorus organised by Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) was held on 14 November 2008.
Radio program:  Western Sahara is mentioned at:  02.01.00

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Australia Western Sahara Assoc. – Press release 14 Nov 208

Shareholders question Wesfarmers over divestment by ethical fund-holders. Phosphate importations from Western Sahara to blame

A group of Western Sahara friends including Wesfarmers shareholders asked many questions to the management of Wesfarmers during its Annual General Meeting held in Perth on 13 November 2008:   The questions concerned the involvement of Wesfarmers subsidiary CSBP in the illegal exploitation of phosphate rock from Western Sahara. Continue reading