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FM outlines Australia's UN Security Council bid and explains why it matters

06-01-2011 16:40 BJT

CANBERRA, June 1 (Xinhua) -- Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd on Wednesday outlined Australia's bid for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) seat in 2013, and explained why the seat matters to the nation.

Rudd, who launched Australia's bid for the temporary UNSC seat as prime minister in 2008, has used a National Press Club speech to outline the reasons for Australia's bid, saying the UN council is more active and relevant on global issues than ever before.

The Foreign Minister said there are a number of key areas Australia may contribute to the UN Security Council, such as regional stability in the Asia-Pacific.

Rudd said the UNSC deals with many security issues directly relevant to Australia, including the conflict in Afghanistan, where hundreds of Australian troops are based, and peacekeeping missions in Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands.

"None of these interests are esoteric. None of these interests are exotic," he told the National Press Club in Canberra on Wednesday.

"In fact all of them bear on our direct national security interests.

"Some of them are likely to be of particular relevance in the 2013-14 period, during which Australia would be on the council if we won."

While Australia faces stiff competition from Finland and Luxembourg, Rudd said Australia was "going all out" to win the seat, but conceded there was no guarantee of success.

"But if fear of failure is our principle motivation in international diplomacy, we may as well all pack up and go home. The government's view is simple - you've got to be in it to win it, " he said.

He added that the government is expected to spend about 26 million U.S. dollars winning the necessary 128 UN votes for the 2013-14 period.

Meanwhile, the federal opposition and some foreign policy thinkers have argued the government should have waited until 2018.

However, Rudd said Australia's candidacy was overdue given it had not held one of the 10 temporary seats since 1986.

He said about 90 countries had served on the council since Australia's last term, adding that some countries have served as many as five times.

The UN will vote on Australia's candidacy next year.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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