Julie Bishop
Julie Bishop Cade Mooney

Bishop hopes govt upheld nation's values in bid for UN seat

UPDATE: OPPOSITION foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop says she hopes Australia did not "compromise" its values to gain a seat on the United Nations Security Council.

While welcoming Australia's election to the security council in New York overnight, Ms Bishop called on the Federal Government to detail the commitments it gave to secure the 140 votes it received for the two-year term.

Ms Bishop said the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, which is expected soon, should reflect the "considerable additional resources" the role will require.

She said Australians deserved to see a return on the $25 million investment Australia made to land a security council seat.

"Now that the vote has been held and Australia has won a place, it is important that we reaffirm and re-embrace our long-standing principles, values and priorities," Ms Bishop said in a statement.

"Australia should have been supported because of our values and not because we were prepared to compromise them.

"The ultimate test of success will be the benefits that flow to the Australian people from this bid and from serving on the UNSC."

Ms Bishop also called on the Federal Government to outline its goals for the two-year term.


Australia scores UN Security Council seat

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard says Australia's election to the United Nations Security Council is a reflection of our "positive standing in global affairs".

Australia scored a seat on the security council - the fifth time it has done so - after it received 140 votes at UN headquarters in New York overnight, with its two-year term beginning on January 1.

"For the next two years Australia will have a direct hand in shaping solutions to the world's most pressing security challenges," Ms Gillard said in a statement.

Ms Gillard said Australia's key priorities on the council would include working to solve conflicts in Afghanistan and Syria and concerns about Iran and North Korea.

"Australia will also work to ensure the effectiveness of UNSC sanctions regimes, including those targeting individuals associated with Al-Qaida," she said.

Australia spent $25 million on the campaign to return to the security council after a 27-year absence.

The island nation was one of five countries to secure a non-permanent seat at the table, with the others being Luxembourg, South Korea, Argentina and Rwanda.

The permanent members of the council include China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and United States.

The UN Security Council's primary responsibility is to maintain international peace and security.

Ms Gillard said Australia's "significant contribution ... to international peace and security" was a key factor in winning votes.

The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Bob Carr thanked Australia's regional and global partners for their vote of confidence.

Senator Carr told reporters in New York it was a "big, juicy, decisive win" for Australia.

He said the support of African nations and states from within the Pacific and Caribbean were crucial in securing Australia's place.

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd, who began the process for Australia returning to the security council, issued a statement on Friday morning congratulating all involved.

A spokesman for Mr Rudd said the win was "credit to the country".

"Mr Rudd congratulates the entire Australian diplomatic service who performed with total professionalism in securing a great result for Australia in a highly competitive race," the statement read.

"Mr Rudd also congratulates the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign

Affairs for their strong and successful advocacy for Australia."



  • It has primary responsibility for 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 UN Security Council oversees 15 peacekeeping operations (with 117,000 personnel deployed) and 13 political and peace-building missions across four continents.
  • 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.

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