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Australia secures a seat on the United Nations Security Council

October 19, 2012

Australia has been elected to serve as a non-permanent member on the United Nations Security Council for 2013 and 2014.

For the next two years Australia will have a direct hand in shaping solutions to the world’s most pressing security challenges.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Foreign Minister Bob Carr thanked Australia’s regional and global partners for the confidence they had shown in Australia and underlined that Australia would play a constructive role across the breadth of the Council’s peace and security agenda.

Australia’s key priorities will include Afghanistan, Syria, Iran and North Korea. Australia will also work to ensure the effectiveness of UNSC sanctions regimes, including those targeting individuals associated with Al-Qaida.

Ms Gillard and 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. 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.

The Security Council’s work matters to Australia – its decisions directly affect Australian personnel deployed under Security Council mandates, including in Afghanistan and East Timor.

The Council oversees 15 peacekeeping operations (with 117,000 personnel deployed) and 13 political and peace-building missions across four continents. After the US, the UN has the largest number of troops deployed in the world. These deployments are authorised by the Security Council.

The Council also manages 13 sanctions regimes and eight subsidiary bodies covering topics such as weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, women and children and 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 Council in 1985-86.

Australia’s re-election to the Council for the 2013-14 term reflects Australia’s positive standing in global affairs and the significant contribution Australia makes to international peace and security.

Australia is the 12th largest contributor to the UN regular and peacekeeping budgets and has deployed 65,000 personnel to over 50 UN and other peace and security operations since 1947, including in East Timor, Solomon Islands and Bougainville.

  1. Andrew Stewart permalink
    October 19, 2012 12:04 pm

    Congratulations Mr Carr. Definitely a delicious achievement for the Government and all who were involved in this bid. It has been a long and arduous campaign and hopefully we can make the most of this opportunity and not sit mute and pander to other nations agendas but rather become a very active participant. Australia has a lot to offer and our contribution to date has gained the respect it deserves. Maybe one day it will be permanent.

  2. Alfred Zerfas permalink
    October 19, 2012 12:33 pm


  3. October 19, 2012 12:48 pm

    Congratulation Senator, we can see how busy you have been in recent months.
    Must need a rest soon.
    Call in some time when you return home.
    Nothing better.
    Regards Carol & Rod.

  4. JennyC permalink
    October 19, 2012 1:16 pm

    Australia will be able to offer resonance to our voice on international matters we care about, thanks to Bob Carr, Julia Gillard and especially Kevin Rudd for his vision

  5. Phillip Black permalink
    October 19, 2012 2:02 pm

    Congratulations to all involved from Kevin Rudd to Bob Carr! … well deserved win after all the work and acknowledgment of the role Australia performs on world issues … we don’t just sit here at one end of the world ignoring the rest but we actually participate!

  6. October 19, 2012 5:32 pm

    Great work Bob, and a great credit to the DFAT people who made Kevin’s dream come true. Now for the hard work…

  7. October 19, 2012 8:07 pm

    Reblogged this on Human Rights & Politics.

  8. Dr Patricia Jenkings permalink
    October 20, 2012 8:32 am

    Success truly deserved and confident more will be earned as simply ‘good’ global citizens now able to engage in a more concrete way to help the most needy – compatible with UN and Light on the Hill ideals indeed.



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