Gillard to lobby for Aus bid for non permanent UNSC seat

Julia Gillard will lobby for Australia`s bid for the non permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

Updated: Sep 24, 2012, 16:25 PM IST

Melbourne: Prime Minister Julia Gillard will lobby for Australia`s bid for the non permanent seat in the UN Security Council during her stay in New York where she will also address the General Assembly for the first time.

"I am here to personally advocating for Australia to be elected to the security council," Gillard, who is on her four-day visit to US, was quoted as saying by the Australian media.

"We are encouraged by the support... But it is a tight close contest," she said.
The UN`s 193 member nations will vote for the 10 non-permanent members of the council on October 18. Those elected will serve in 2013 and 2014.

Australia belongs to a bloc known as the Western Europe and Others Group. It is competing against Luxembourg and Finland for one of two spots. Australia needs at least 128 votes, or two-thirds.

"The UN security council is at the core of what the UN does whether it is approving a peace keeping mission, whether it is proscribing a terrorist organisation, whether it is dealing with contemporary issues of our world like the threat of nuclear arms in North Korea, the violence in Syria, the nuclear issues in Iran, it is the security council that is at the centre of that work."
"What happens at the UN matters for us."

Along with GIllard, Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr also arrived in New York as part of the delegation which is expected to push for Australia`s inclusion on the Security Council.

"We`re presenting ourselves as a creative middle power - looking to be part of the solutions to global problems," Carr said adding "We`re one of the world`s most multicultural countries - 260 languages spoken in Australia and more than a quarter of our citizens born overseas."

Gillard will also address the UN assembly for the first time, and will use the next four days to re-affirm Australia`s commitment to global rule of law, raising global education standards, gender equality and programs to alleviate poverty.
The report quoted Foreign Affairs officials saying that with the rise of Asia, it was vital that Australia was included on the council.