Australia: Surprise Seat on United Nations Security Council

There was lots of jubilation when Australia won a two-year non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council on Friday, October 19, 2102. The long UN Security Council and the short #UNSC of it were both trending on Twitter, down under.

James Alexander seems tickled pink:

@shortino29: Awesome news: Australia has won a seat on the UN Security Council

Stephen is in the clouds:

@TheAviator1992: The #UNSC seat cost about $1 per Australian. Far cheaper than a cup of coffee. No doubt about it, it was an absolute bargain #auspol

General Assembly elects non-permanent SC members

Australia's Foreign Minister Bob Carr receives congratulations
Photo: UN Photo/Evan Schneider

But it isn’t all self-congratulation. There seem to be some sour grapes as well. At Catallaxy Files, which claims to be ‘Australia's leading libertarian and centre-right blog’, Samuel J seems open to a charge of sore-loser:

Unfortunately Australia has won its campaign for a temporary seat on the UN Security Council with 140 votes out of 193 cast (2/3 majority being 129)

He uses sarcasm:

This victory for Australia must be [Opposition Leader] Tony Abbott’s fault!

Followed by a cheeky, machiavellian suggestion:

One option the Coalition could consider – ask Kevin Rudd if he would like to be considered for appointment as Australian Ambassador to the United Nations under a Coalition Government. Since the temporary position commences on 1 January 2013, Mr Rudd would want to be in a position to take up such an appointment prior to that day. As the Constitution makes it illegal for a MP to accept a Commonwealth salary, he would need to resign from Parliament.

Such a resignation would cause a by-election and a possible change of government. Kevin Rudd initiated the UN bid before being toppled as Prime Minister by Julia Gillard. Gillard leads a minority government with razor-thin support.

But it gets more bizarre. Andrew Puhanic, blogging at the Globalist Report shares his conspiracy theories:

GLOBALIST puppet, carbon tax lover and communist Julia Gillard has once again set Australia on the path to world government.

If you enjoy this kind of negativity, then try reading the Comments section on Tory Maguire’s post at the Punch: We won! So what should we do with the prize? She is not the only one caught napping, as few expected this victory:

The debate this morning is a bit hilarious as everyone scrambles to re-frame their arguments having assumed we were going to be embarrassed by the Fins.

One complaint that is rebutted by many on Twitter concerns the alleged waste of money. ManO'Steel(town) ponders Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's reaction to the announcement:

‏@berkeleyboy: Tony Abbott on Thursday: “failure to win UN Security Council seat would be a disaster…”, & Friday? “it cost too much…” #auspol #WhiteAnt

Kiera Gorden is also aiming at Tony Abbott:

‏@KieraGorden: What sort of terrible person denounces their own nation getting a coveted, prestigious seat at the #UNSC. Oh yeah, Tony Abbott!

Dav is doubtless thinking about Iraq and Afghanistan:

‏@dav9999: Having a say about wars our soldiers fight in is what's good about Australia on the UN Security Council #auspol #unsc #UNSecurityCouncil

Simon Bradshaw echoes Oxfam's similar concerns:

‏@simoncbradshaw: UN Security Council win a chance for Australia to better protect people affected by war – Oxfam … via @Oxfamaustralia

Author of My Israel Question and The Blogging Revolution, Antony Loewenstein, lists what he sees as Australian demerits in the international arena:

‏@antloewenstein: #Palestine, #Iraq, #Afghanistan, #asylumseekers. Oh yes, #Australia SO deserves UN seat @bobjcarr @JuliaGillard

Joe Hildebrand, Daily Telegraph journalist and blogger, seems to be one of those who see politics as another sport:

‏@Joe_Hildebrand: So glad Australia won the UN Security Council spot. This totally makes up for the World Cup.

Australia's unsuccessful bid to host the World Cup 2022 cost $A 45 million compared with the $A 24 million on the UN campaign.

Many onliners see cause for optimism. Laura R is upbeat at 3things blog:

It’s an exciting time, not only for the government, but for any Australian citizen who’s ever wished we were that little bit more connected to the international arena and the decisions that get made within it. So now, here’s our chance.

Julia Gillard thanks DFAT staff

Julia Gillard thanks DFAT staff
Photo: @JuliaGillard twitter account

As politicians never miss a photo opportunity in these days of social media, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard has used twitter to post a photo of herself thanking staff from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade:

The PM thanking DFAT personnel this morning after Australia secured a UNSC seat for 2013/2014. TeamJG

Finally, for a cartoon reaction please see: You know who else won a seat on the UN Security Council …

…everyone who thought they were voting for Austria will realise what happened and then there may be an international incident.

The two-year term starts in January 2013.


  • Pip

    Kevin, tried to give you a star and mucked up badly – sorry !

  • Emily Erdos

    This article was fascinating to me. Most people would consider winning a seat in the UNSC a magnificent success and achievement. The controversy over the seat is surprising. It is intriguing to here what Tony Abbott and his supporters have against the acquiring of the seat. I think having this position bodes well for Australia. It puts them in a position of higher power. Hopefully, the UN representative and Gillard will be able to collaborate and help boost Australia onto the world’s stage as a rising international power. Australia has a lot to offer, and I think this seat is opening up a lot of doors for them. According to the New Zealand Herald, Autralia has an increasing number of billionaires and a growing GDP. With a rapidly expanding economy, potential to be a renewable energy-based nation and an abundance of natural resources, Australia has a future filled with opportunities. This UNSC seat will certainly help Australia to embrace these opportunities.

  • Kevin_Rennie

    We live in parallel universes in Australia lately. Good news is portrayed by some as bad and vice versa.

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