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United Nations Security Council.



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MEDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER FA58 23 April 2002

UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL

In recent years Australia has established a strong track record of successful candidacies for international bodies.

This is demonstrated by our recent election to the UN Commission on Human Rights and elections to the Council of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation and the Council of the International Maritime Organisation.

We have also secured the election of Justice David Hunt to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Professor Ivan Shearer to the Human Rights Committee and Professor Ken Wiltshire as Australia’s representative to the Executive Board of UNSECO. Mr John Lockhart has recently taken up his position on the prestigious Appellate Body of the World Trade Organisation.

There has been considerable ill-informed and self-serving commentary about Australia’s possible bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. The experience of 1996 should not be used as a benchmark for any campaign by Australia in the future.

Cabinet has not yet made a decision on whether to pursue election to the Security Council. There will be full and comprehensive consideration of the costs and benefits of Security Council membership as well as the challenges posed by a highly competitive campaign.

Media inquiries: Matt Francis (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500 / 0419 206 890 Julie McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 1555