Australia locks in
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr, said Australia’s election as a non-permanent member to the United Nations Security Council for 2013 and 2014 would give the country a direct hand in shaping solutions to the world’s most pressing security challenges.
Senator Carr said Australia’s key priorities would include Afghanistan, Syria, Iran and North Korea.
He said Australia would work to ensure the effectiveness of Security Council sanctions regimes, including those targeting individuals associated with Al-Qaeda.
Senator Carr congratulated Luxembourg, South Korea, Argentina and Rwanda, which were also elected to serve as non-permanent members for 2013-14.
“The UN Security Council is at the core of the UN – it has primary responsibility in the global system for the maintenance of international peace and security,” Senator Carr said.
“It has the power to make decisions that are binding on all UN Member States and to authorise coercive measures including sanctions and the use of force.”
He said the Security Council’s work mattered to Australia – its decisions directly affected Australian personnel deployed under Security Council mandates, including in Afghanistan and East Timor.
“The Security Council oversees 15 peacekeeping operations, with 117,000 personnel deployed, and 13 political and peace-building missions across four continents,” Senator Carr said.
“After the United States, the UN has the largest number of troops deployed in the world. These deployments are authorised by the Security Council.”
He said the Security Council also managed 13 sanctions regimes and eight subsidiary bodies covering topics such as weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, women and children in armed conflict, and women, peace and security.
This will be Australia’s fifth term on the Security Council since joining the UN as a founding member in 1945. Australia held the first Presidency of the Security Council in 1946.
It has been 27 years since Australia last served on the Security Council in 1985-86.
Edition 336, 23 October 2012