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Should Australia Seek a Seat on the United Nations Security Council in 2029?

06 Oct 2015
AIIA Fellows responding to the burning question of the week

Expert Panel-Fellows of the AIIA

HilaryCharlesworthHilary Charlesworth FAIIA-Professor, ANU; Director of Centre for International Governance and JusticeProfessorJocelynCheyAMJocelyn Chey AM FAIIA-Visiting Professor, University of Sydney; former Consul-General in Hong KongJamesCottonJames Cotton FAIIA-Emeritus Professor at the University of NSWRawdonDalrympleRawdon Dalrymple AO FAIIA-Former Visiting Professor, University of Sydney; Chairman of ASEAN Focus Group LtdGraemeDobellGraeme Dobell FAIIA-Journalist Fellow, Australian Strategic Policy InstituteErikaFellerErika Feller FAIIA-Former UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for ProtectionJanet_HuntJanet Hunt FAIIA-Former Head of the Australian Council for Overseas Aid
JamesIngramAOJames Ingram AO FAIIA-Former Diplomat and Head of the UN World Food ProgramJohnMcCarthyAOJohn McCarthy AO FAIIA-Former Ambassador to Japan, Indonesia, the United States, Thailand, Mexico and VietnamJohnMcCarthyAOGeoffrey Miller AO FAIIA-Former Australian Ambassador to Japan; former Director-General of the Office of National AssessmentsRobertO’NeillRobert O’Neill FAIIA– Former Chichele Professor of the History of War, Oxford UniversityGarryWoodardGarry Woodard FAIIA-Former Diplomat and Senior Fellow, University of MelbourneRichardWoolcottACRichard Woolcott AC FAIIA-Former Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and TradeRichardWoolcottACSamina Yasmeen AM FAIIA-Professor of Political Science and International Relations, University of Western Australia


Question: Will a new Prime Minister affect Australia internationally?

RobertO’NeillRobert O’Neill FAIIA
Yes, Australia should bid for a Security Council seat in 2029 – or earlier. With the right person in that chair, we can do ourselves, and the issues of the year, a lot of good. Even better, we could start training and developing a few foreign policy specialists among our younger MPs on both sides and the cross benches. Australia has a lot to offer but the candidates could all benefit from a little polishing.
Janet_HuntJanet Hunt FAIIAOf course Australia should from time to time aim to be elected to the Security Council but this timeframe is such a long way away it’s almost meaningless! If the bid were for a closer date I think Australia’s post – UN Security Council term aid cuts to Africa (just bought the votes then dropped the aid), our poor climate change policy, our detention of asylum seekers offshore in shocking conditions and perhaps even our treatment of Indigenous Australians might be viewed rather poorly by other member states. By 2029 who knows how we’ll be viewed when the vote comes? If we are serious then we need to act in the meantime as a more consistently better international citizen, upholding human rights across the board, and contributing more to the newly-adopted Sustainable Development Goals. There’s plenty to contribute to if those are to be achieved by 2030.
RawdonDalrympleRawdon Dalrymple AO FAIIAIt was probably worth doing last time although very costly. The Foreign Minister says that launching the bid so far in advance will cut the cost so if that is realistic there is less ground to object. But is launching so early really going to work? Who will commit their vote until the race gets into the home stretch? In the meantime are we going to be actively chasing votes or just letting everyone know we will be running when the time comes?


Past Questions

September 16, 2015
Will a New Prime Minister Affect Australia Internationally?

February 24, 2015
Can Australia and Indonesia be Good Friends?

October 26, 2014
Can Australia Remain a Top 20 Nation?

September 17, 2014
Should Australia Deploy Troops to Iraq?

September 9, 2014
Should Australia have Closer Relations with NATO?

July 25, 2014
Are Expectations of Australia’s International Influence Unrealistic?

July 1, 2014
Is Australia Powerless to Help its Citizens Abroad?

June 23, 2014
What are Australia’s Responsibilities in Iraq?

June 10, 2014
Is China Destabilising Asia?

May 9, 2014
Is the US a Dangerous Ally for Australia?

April 28, 2014
Did you find Bob Carr’s ‘Diary of a Foreign Minister’ enlightening?

April 14, 2014
Is Australia’s economic diplomacy succeeding?

April 04, 2014
Is Japan Australia’s best friend in Asia?

March 24, 2014
Three years on, has enough been done on Syria?


More questions >>