Australia seeks Security Council seat

Australia has made a fresh bid for another seat at the United Nations Security Council.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop unveiled the bid for a 2029-30 seat in a speech to the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday (Wednesday morning AEST).

She announced to the assembly that Australia is seeking the term to promote greater international cooperation to tackle global security challenges.

Speaking to Sky News, Ms Bishop said she has always believed that Australia should play its part and be on the Security Council from ‘time to time’.

‘We believe 2029-2030 will be an appropriate time for Australia to return to the Security Council,’ she said.

Ms Bishop says every 15 years is right time for a country of Australia’s ‘size and significance’, having previously served on the UNSC in December 2014.

The previous bid was orchestrated by former prime minister Kevin Rudd and came under criticism for its $55 million price tag.

In a thinly veiled critique of the Rudd approach, Ms Bishop said the current bid would not mean Australia had to divert resources or skew its foreign policy positions.

‘It won’t mean that our diplomats are taken away from what they should be doing to pursue a campaign in a short period of time. So it’s a measured approach.’

The foreign minister also confirmed the bid had received the backing of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The UNSC includes 10 non-permanent members, with five new members elected each year.

Ms Bishop also confirmed Australia will put its hand up for a position on the Human Rights Council for the term 2018-20.

She told Sky News it was an important position that would allow Australia to stand up for its values including freedom of speech, freedom of religion.

Source: Sky News