Q & A with Tim Costello

By : Craig Brown

Tim Costello was made CEO of World Vision Australian in 2004. Prior to that, Tim was well known to many people as one of the voices of Australia's social conscience, having headed up Urban Seed in Melbourne, as well as being an outspoken opponent of governmennt dependency on gambling. I was fortunate enough to be able to engage Tim in a conversation on what is occurring in Darfur (Sudan), and how he viewed the western response to what the US has called "genocide". Craig Brown: In May 2006, the Darfur peace agreement was signed. In the 10 months since then, how has World Vision assessed the progress toward peace? Tim Costello: That raised great hopes. We thought "at last". It came after Kofi Annan said "we cannot face another Rwanda" (for which he has expressed personal regrets) so, really he was lending his moral authority. Since then, there has been a steady fragmentation of that peace. It has just been terrible and in some ways the hope that the peace agreement raised may have been the smokescreen for the situation to deteriorate even further. The attention floated away, it wasn't quite that urgent, so it has proved to be virtually no restraint whatsoever to the ongoing rape - systematic rape - of women, murder and the destruction of livelihoods. It's still terrible.

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