Australia relishes ‘juicy’ Security Council win
Australia on Friday hailed its election to the United Nations Security Council with Foreign Minister Bob Carr saying securing the non-permanent seat was a “big, decisive, juicy win”.
Australia, which received 140 votes from the secret ballot of 193 members, was elected to the two-year role beginning in January along with Rwanda, Argentina, South Korea and Luxembourg in a vote in New York on Thursday.
A delighted Carr described it as a “terrific triumph”.
“It’s always good to see Australia win,” he told Australian media from New York.
“This was a big, juicy, decisive win, and it’s very, very sweet.
“We’ve got to be good to get a majority, we’ve got to be super good to get a big majority.”
Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who pressed ahead with the bid after deposing its initial supporter, former leader Kevin Rudd, said Australia’s key priorities would 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-Qaeda,” she said in a joint statement with Carr.
It is the fifth time Australia will serve on the Security Council, but the first in almost three decades with the most recent occasion in 1985-86.
Carr said the US$25 million cost of the five-year campaign was worth it because it led to a deepening of diplomatic ties with other nations.
He added that election to the council reflected Australia’s “positive standing in global affairs and the significant contribution Australia makes to international peace and security”.
“It’s a wonderful heart-warming endorsement of Australia as a good local citizen,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“It’s countries saying: ‘We like Australia. We think Australia’s role is good and positive and we want to see Australia provide leadership’.”
Australia needed at least 129 votes and was elected in the first round of balloting, having garnered the support of African and Caribbean states and Pacific islands.
The permanent members, wielding veto power, are the United States, China, France, Britain and Russia.