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Should Australia Seek a Seat on the United Nations Security Council in 2029?
Expert Panel-Fellows of the AIIA
|Hilary Charlesworth FAIIA-Professor, ANU; Director of Centre for International Governance and Justice
||Jocelyn Chey AM FAIIA-Visiting Professor, University of Sydney; former Consul-General in Hong Kong
||James Cotton FAIIA-Emeritus Professor at the University of NSW
||Rawdon Dalrymple AO FAIIA-Former Visiting Professor, University of Sydney; Chairman of ASEAN Focus Group Ltd
||Graeme Dobell FAIIA-Journalist Fellow, Australian Strategic Policy Institute
||Erika Feller FAIIA-Former UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection
||Janet Hunt FAIIA-Former Head of the Australian Council for Overseas Aid
|James Ingram AO FAIIA-Former Diplomat and Head of the UN World Food Program
||John McCarthy AO FAIIA-Former Ambassador to Japan, Indonesia, the United States, Thailand, Mexico and Vietnam
||Geoffrey Miller AO FAIIA-Former Australian Ambassador to Japan; former Director-General of the Office of National Assessments
||Robert O’Neill FAIIA– Former Chichele Professor of the History of War, Oxford University
||Garry Woodard FAIIA-Former Diplomat and Senior Fellow, University of Melbourne
||Richard Woolcott AC FAIIA-Former Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
||Samina Yasmeen AM FAIIA-Professor of Political Science and International Relations, University of Western Australia
Question: Will a new Prime Minister affect Australia internationally?
Robert 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 Hunt FAIIA
||Of 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.
|Rawdon Dalrymple AO FAIIA
||It 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?
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Published October 6, 2015