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Australians and Luxembourgeois Make It To The Security Council …

  • October 19th, 2012
  • Posted by EUEditor

un-carr-unorg.jpgAustralian government leaders were this week welcoming the country’s election to a seat on the United Nations Security Council (19.10.12), along with Luxembourg.

The Foreign Minister, Bob Carr (picture, at UN),said the vote at the General Assembly for Australia, 140 out of the 193 member state delegations, was a recognition of “good global citizenship”.

He said the UN delegations had in particular taken note of Australia’s peace keeping operations, from the Middle East to East Timor and Solomon Islands, and its international assistance budget, managed in a way that was “creative and flexible”.

un-security-council.jpgMembership would be an opportunity to highlight concerns of the regions where Australia had direct interest, in Asia and the South-west Pacific.

“For the next two years we will have a direct hand in shaping solutions to the world’s most pressing security challenges”, the Foreign  Minister said.

“Australia can, and therefore I’d argue should, use our influence as a middle power to strive for the safety and security of people living in areas where conflict and war destroy so many lives …

“This will be Australia’s fifth term on the Security Council since joining the UN as a founding member in 1945 …”

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, said it was a “great day for the nation”. Australia on the Security Council would continue to back peace-keeping operations and support sanctions against rogue states.
luxembourg.jpgThe second vacancy to be filled went to Luxembourg, a business and diplomatic centre where such acceptance by the world community would be well appreciated.

However many people this week might be yet more interested in something else: they have a Royal wedding on.

Prince Guillame, destined to become the ruling Grand Duke, is marrying Stephanie de Lannoy,  a Belgian Countess, on Friday, in a  civil ceremony, and Saturday, in church.

He is destined to rule over the pocket-sized independent country, its 512000 souls living comfortably on 2586 square-kilometres, in the South-eastern corner of Belgium, as a constitutional monarch – Luxembourg as a member of the European Union is a democratic state.

Luxembourg’s place on the Security Council will be considered more than appropriate, in a body where many countries, through to the tiniest Pacific micro-states, are much smaller, and where it has close friends; 26 of them sharing with it in an actual fourth-tier of government, through the EU.

Another European candidate for a temporary seat on the UN Security Council, and EU member, Finland, was elbowed out in the voting this time.

Nominated countries contest the vote in groups, and as well as Australia and Luxembourg, three others were successful this time, coming through their own groups: Argentina, the Republic of Korea (South Korea), and Rwanda. (Bhutan and Cambodia lost out against them).
As well there are five non-permanent members on the Security Council already there, for one more year: Columbia, Germany, India, Portugal and South Africa.

Altogether five members of the 15-member body will be from the EU.
The UN Security Council has five permanent members holding vetoes over decisions, being China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States; and ten non-permanent members. It brokers the settlement of conflicts; will recognise, or withold endorsement from armed interventions in crisis situations;  and mandates peace-keeping operations (currently 15 operations, and another 13 political and ‘peace-building” missions in four continents).