Australia seeks UN Security Council membership

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Sydney/New York, Mar 30: Australia will seek to become a temporary member of the United Nations Security Counci (UNSC)l, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said. Mr Rudd made the bid in a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in New York today.

Australia would seek election for the 2013-14 term of the council, the UN arm charged with maintaining peace and security around the world. It had been more than 30 years since Australia had held the position since 1985-86 when it was a member, Mr Rudd said. Australia should be on the council because membership was necessary to help a country be fully engaged in the UN, he said. ''Australia is a strong supporter of the United Nations and while there are people who criticise the UN, I believe it's important to see the glass as half-full rather than half-empty,'' The Age quoted him as saying.

The council has five permanent members - China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States - and 10 non-permanent members. ''My view is pretty simple - you've got to be in it to win it, and have a go. We're about to have a go. I think 30 years is a fair enough old wait between drinks and I think it's time we actually got cracking,'' Mr Rudd stated.

It was in Australia's interest to be on the council and have a say in key UN decisions, he said. ''Therefore, if you wish to be an effective member of the UN organisation, it means that you must express a regular interest in being a member of the Security Council,'' he said.

''All security policy matters of multilateral significance are before the council from time to time. Australia has an interest, therefore, in being there,'' he added.


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