We were told that it was important for Australia to be a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council because we ‘punched above our weight’; that we had the right and duty to provide leadership. We were told that being on the Security Council would increase our influence and that other countries would listen more to Australia’s words of wisdom.
So what do we do on our first chance to exercise influence following the vote for the Security Council seat?
Australia is to abstain from the UN resolution to give let Palestine join the United Nations as an observer.
Talk about weak – the first chance to express an opinion, and Australia stays silent. Afraid of offending the Palestine lobby, Australia lurks in the corner.
Talk about hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.
We were warned that securing a position on the Security Council would compromise our values, in particular Australia’s traditional and strong support for the only democracy in the Middle East – Israel. The abstention is the evidence.
The Prime Minister apparently had wanted Australia to vote against the resolution, but was rolled by Caucus.
So at the apogee of our international influence (so the proponents of the UN SC seat argued), we have a weak and indecisive prime minister. And a weak and corrupt government.
Now ask yourselves, do you think that the millions of dollars spent on the UN Security Council bid was worthwhile? Should we quit before we embarrass ourselves even more?