The UN Security Council and Australia

October 19, 2010 by Raffe Gold
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The recent vote by the General Assembly of the United Nations to exclude Canada from holding a temporary seat on the Security Council might, at first sight, seem to be little more than another example of the increasingly bizarre voting patterns of that benighted institution.

Raffe Gold

But the implications for Israel are profound; and as Australia is keen for a seat on the Security Council in 2013/4, our Foreign Minister will be quick to learn the lessons of Canada’s defeat.

So why was Canada defeated in its bid? It is, after all, one of the longest-serving and most respected of the members of the United Nations, and its place was virtually assured.

The reason is simply that Canada, because of the personal commitment of its Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, is a strong and solid supporter of Israel. And its pro-Israel stance has alienated it from the 57-member strong UN Islamic Conference and the African nations.

Ever since 2008, former Prime Minister, and now Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has been driving Australian foreign policy towards a seat at the top table. He is keen as mustard to gain a seat on the Security Council so that we have a voice in a forum where the world’s biggest decisions are made. Rudd, despite his misreading of the world’s opinion when he attended the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, is nonetheless very aware of the Machiavellian twists and turns which run the diplomacy of the UN. And as a skilled diplomat, he knows how to count numbers. It is for this reason that in all likelihood he will drive Australia’s foreign policy into a more neutral, and perhaps even a more antipathetic, approach when dealing with Israel. We have already seen it happen. After the recent passport identity theft fiasco, Rudd could have instructed then Foreign Minister Smith to haul the Israeli Ambassador over the coals. A diplomatic reprimand was all that was required. Job done! But Rudd had to go one step further to prove his steely determination and honest-broker neutrality to the Islamic nations watching Australia’s reaction, and he expelled a diplomat, one of the most serious diplomatic consequences between nations.

Now that Canada has had its wrist slapped by the UN’s Islamic Conference for its support of Israel, it is more than likely that Australia will not risk alienating so many votes and will move further apart from Israel to prove its credentials. After all, it was Rudd who sent our Governor General, Quentin Bryce, on a 10-country, $700,000 meet and greet mission all over Africa in order to curry support for our UN Security Council bid.

The United Nations, especially the laughably named Human Rights Council, has always held a virulent anti-Israel perspective. Over the course of the existence of the UNHRC it failed in its mandate to truly uphold human rights and instead it spent a majority of its time criticising and demonising Israel even going so far as to give UN support to suicide bombers who slaughtered men, women and children in cafes and buses. The problem  for Israel in the UN lies in its voting system . It allows some of the world’s most egregious human and other rights abuser countries such as Libya, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Iran, Sudan and the Congo to form alliances which in turn allow them to peddle their domestic agenda and foreign policy. The foreign policy for the Organisation of the Islamic Conference remains the deligitimisation and destruction of the Middle East’s only functioning democracy; Israel.

The bloc voting system, in conjunction with powerful alliances between various Islamic Conference countries and nation states that rely on their oil, ensure that Israel faces an extraordinarily difficult uphill battle when it comes to any United Nations decision. Numerous United Nations decisions and resolutions have exceeded the point of criticism regarding policies to a concerted effort at deligitimising the Jewish State by granting her pariah status for defending the lives of her citizens.

Australia’s desire to gain a seat on the UN Security Council it would also mean having to brush shoulders with some of the greatest human rights abusers in the world when we, as a moral Western nation, should be urging them to act as decent nation states. We should ensure that these dictators such as Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe or Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad be isolated and sanctioned for their role in mass murder and denying human rights to their citizens. We owe it to the members of the Green Movement who died on the streets of Tehran and to the 5.4 million innocent victims in the Congolese war to ensure that these leaders are brought to trial for the crimes that they have inflicted. When a democracy like Israel is roundly condemned whilst mass murderers such a Gaddafi are welcomed onto a human rights council then one wonders what Eleanor Roosevelt would say if she could see her brainchild .

In a press briefing after Canada lost its position on the Security Council Prime Minister Stephen Harper refused to compromise its countries principles for a UN popularity contest “We take our positions based on the promotion of our values, freedom, democracy and the rule of law”. Will Kevin Rudd’s desire for a chance to highlight Australia on the world stage cause him to curry favour with nations which reject the very foundations upon which Australia….and the United Nations itself….were formed.

Raffe Gold is a Political Science graduate and will soon emigrate to live in Israel. He can be reached at


3 Responses to “The UN Security Council and Australia”
  1. Rita Liddle says:

    “…Will Kevin Rudd’s desire for a chance to highlight Australia on the world stage cause him to curry favour with nations which reject the very foundations upon which Australia….and the United Nations itself….were formed”.

    Of course he will! And not necessasrily to highlight Australia on the world stage, but himself!

    Only a short time after having courted the the Jewish Community during his election campaign (2007) by publicly stating that he will take the wannabe Iranian Hitler to an International Court for incitement to genocide of the Jewish people, he followed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad meekly to the podium at the UN, to speak. By then he had no need of the Jewish vote any more, he was Prime Minister.

    As to this dubious outfit, the “UN”, it is fast becoming no more than an Association of Terrorists and it should not only be disbanded, but indicted!. YUCK!

  2. Lynne Newington says:

    This is where Rupert Murdoch’s public support will be an advantage. He is clearly sending a message, as a Papal knight to that part of political clout and Mr Rudd, on all fronts.
    My limited understanding of world or even local politics only serves my intuition.
    Church politics is another matter, I’ve experienced that one personally including “Rights” issues.

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