It’s long past time for Australia and all other powers of the civilized world to get OUT of the UN entirely.
Australia’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council will go “right down to the wire”, Prime Minister Julia Gillard says.
But she says Australia can bring a unique perspective to the world body that its European rivals cannot.
Ms Gillard touched down in New York on Monday ahead of a four-day diplomatic visit that will include her first address to the UN General Assembly.
She will push Australia’s bid for a two-year seat on the UN Security Council and hold bilateral discussions with a number of world leaders.
In October, the General Assembly will vote to fill five Security Council membership seats that are due for renewal for a 2013-14 term.
Australia hasn’t held a seat in more than 25 years and will compete against frontrunners Finland and Luxembourg for one of the two non-permanent spots.
The other three seats will be filled by countries from Africa, the Asia Pacific and Latin America.
Ms Gillard says Australia has much to offer to the United Nations regionally.
“We believe Australia is placed to bring a perspective to the UN Security Council that our competitors could not,” she told reporters in New York on Monday.
“We think right across the board we have a strong case for election to the Security Council.”
She said Australia’s “proud track record” of contributing to the work of the UN in peacekeeping, aid initiatives and in the in Afghanistan were examples of its contribution to global diplomacy.
Australia was encouraged by the support and endorsement it had received from the islands of the Pacific and the Caribbean, Ms Gillard said.
“But it’s tight, and it’s tough, and so I’m here personally to advocate for our election to the Security Council.”
She said it was in Australia’s interest to gain a seat and an Australian voice on the Security Council because it was “at the core” of the UN.
Foreign Minister Bob Carr, who is also in New York to support the bid, said working with the UN’s five permanent members would boost Australia’s global standing.
“If you’re proud of Australia then this elevates us greatly,” Senator Carr told the Seven Network.
“It has us … working out a common approach, getting agreement on the major challenges confronting the world.”
Senator Carr said Australia deserved the opportunity given its contribution to the global community.
“We’re a creative little power, we’re a good global citizen (and) we believe we punch above our weight in terms of aid programs and contributions to peacekeeping and nation-building around the world.”
“…peacekeeping and nation-building around the world”? What could possibly go wrong?
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