I’m pretty sure that the United Nations Association of Australia is not the type of organisation I would join. It is not a well known institution even though
Established in 1946, the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) promotes the aims and work of the United Nations amongst Australians of all walks of life.
The National President of the UNAA Russell Trood thinks we should be proud of the Security Council’s achievements in the first of our two years as a non-permanent member of the Security Council. Trood writes
The numbers give some sense of the demands of Security Council membership: more than 300 council meetings, 47 resolutions, 22 presidential statements, and the creation of a new committee in addition to sustaining the work of the 15 existing committees.
Yes, meetings and resolutions and new committees. Apparently that proves the worth of the Security Council. Trood claims the UN has had considerable success in Syria and North Korea (I hadn’t noticed).
Meanwhile, the Abbott Government has had considerable success in reducing people smuggling, something in which the UN has no interest.
If our year on the UNSC has been so influential, why is the UN criticising the Abbott Government’s asylum seeker policy? Have we earned no influence from our membership of this apparently exclusive club?
When Syria (2002-2003) and Libya (2008-2009) were members of the UNSC, we didn’t hear a peep from the UN about human rights abuses. Indeed Gaddafi was feted by the French, with then French President Sarkozy allowing the Libyan dictator to pitch his tent in the lawns of the Élysée Palace. It was only when they were no longer on the UNSC that moves against these countries were contemplated. It seems they were able to leverage membership of the UNSC far more effectively than the Australian authorities have been.