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The Trombone ForumPractice BreakChit-ChatPurely Politics(Moderators: bhcordova, RedHotMama, BFW) Australia gets seat on the United Nations Security Council
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Graham Martin
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« on: Oct 18, 2012, 04:03PM »

Australia has won a seat on the United Nations Security Council, the most important governing body in the UN.

Australia, along with Argentina, Rwanda, Luxembourg and South Korea, will hold the position for two years from 2013 as one of the 10 non-permanent members of the Council.

Thunderous applause from all around the world! Yeah, and pigs might fly! Yeah, RIGHT.

A country gets these temporary seats by bribing other delegates and giving foreign aid to their nations. We only spent $25 Million directly on the campaign to get the seat but hundreds of Millions in aid to developing nations, some of whom are outside of our normal sphere of influence, but whose votes we needed.

It will be interesting to see what we make of our seat. Don't know

Bob Carr, our new foreign minister, said, "It's countries saying 'we like Australia. We think Australia's role is good and positive and we want to see Australia provide leadership'". Ha ha Bob! It was more countries saying they liked the efforts of the previous foreign minister, sacked by Julia, and who you replaced. Let's hear it for Kevin Rudd - backbencher these days.

Actually, when asked the question this morning in a TV interview, Bob Carr was big enough to say, "Kevin Rudd deserves credit and vindication for saying we should go for this and we should go for this in this year."

Personally, I do not see any benefit to having the seat and I would prefer to opt out of the United Nations alltogether. It is too much controlled by vetoes from the so called superpowers. If countries want our help, they should ask us nicely. Although we are usually amongst the first to offer help in emergencies.
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Grah

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May you build a ladder to the stars
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May you stay......forever young."
BGuttman
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 18, 2012, 04:26PM »

I'd rather see Australia on the Security Council than many others.  The idea of the likes of Syria on the Human Rights subcommittee makes my skin crawl.

There has been a basic block in the Security Council with Russia and China on one side and the US, England, and France on the other.  Generally this means it is comparable to the US Senate.  There has to be a real human rights crisis to get the Security Council to act.

I think right now only Switzerland has steadfastly refused to join the UN; mainly because they refuse to join anything.  I'm not sure that does much good because there are some groups from the UN that do good works (and some that are busybodies and should be shut down).

Still, glad somebody worthwhile is on the Council.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 18, 2012, 10:09PM »

After all these years, Australia's finally right up there with Rwanda. You must be teary-eyed with pride.
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 20, 2012, 07:39AM »

Russia, China, US, Britain, and France get veto power anyway.  Syria is out waging war against its own population, and China and Russia vetoed sanctions against Syria.  This doesn't make any sense to me.  What makes sense, is, if Russia stops supplying them with arms, then fewer people will get killed.
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Graham Martin
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 20, 2012, 05:59PM »

As I said previously, it is those vetoes that make nonsense of the United Nations Security Council. Personally, I do not see a need for this Council. It is only a way of the superpowers manipulating events, especially the veto power of permanent members - Russia, China, the United States, France and the United Kingdom. Bloody stupid set up, if you ask me, basing permanent membership on being a winner of WWII. I believe all decisions should be made in the UN proper on a one vote for each nation basis.

Unfortunately, the US is just as guilty of using its vote to support injustices as is Russia and China. Take for instance Palestine and the Gaza strip. Bad dog.  No Biscuits.

However, on the score of Syria, Australia has stated that one of our priorities now that we have a seat (albeit non-permanent) on the Security Council is to support the enforcement of Kofi Annan's six-point peace plan, despite its failure to this point. Our foreign minister Bob Carr said, "We want the enforcement of the six-point Kofi Annan peace plan now being pursued by his successor as special representative and we want above all, out of those six points, the ceasefire - the enforcement of a ceasefire and political negotiations to achieve a transition in the government of Syria."

As a new voice, it is pretty obvious to me that the Australian government thinks that we can maybe punch above our weight until the novelty wears off with the other members. We will see..... But we have already advanced a plan to allow medical equipment and supplies to reach the suffering people of Syria and enable hospitals to be protected and not used as instruments of war.

What I would warn, if the US think that Australia's vote is a gimme, is that Bob Carr has said, "Australia will speak up for the interests of middle powers and small powers and will vote against the US if necessary." I guess he had to say that in view of the fact that we got on the Council due to receiving strong support from African nations and countries of the Pacific and the Caribbean.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-19/carr-pleasantly-surprised-by-security-council-vote/4322404
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Grah

"May God bless and keep you always
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May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 24, 2012, 04:35AM »

I think the veto in the Security Council should be abolished.  The debacle of the UN's handling of the civil war in Syria is only the latest example of why the veto is a bad idea.  When we finally do intervene, that intervention will have to be harsher and more deadly for the waiting.

Or, we could just call it the In-Security council.
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Gary P Kimzey
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« Reply #6 on: Oct 24, 2012, 06:43AM »

I think the veto made more sense during the Cold War.  But it's really intended to make sure there couldn't be a plot of the "little guys" to do mischief with the big guys.

I do agree, if the temporary members of the Security Council are a cross-section of the rest of the world, including 1st World, 2nd World, and 3rd World countries, then the veto should be eliminated.
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Bruce Guttman
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 24, 2012, 02:13PM »

Or have a two thirds override of a veto.
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