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Analysis and Comment (23)

The United Nations Security Council’s primary responsibility is maintaining international peace and security – a task aided by the veto power. The United Nations Security Council’s primary responsibility is maintaining international peace and security – a task aided by the veto power. Francois Proulx/Flickr

Don’t be too quick to condemn the UN Security Council power of veto

Recent events in Gaza and Ukraine and the ongoing gridlock in Syria have dominated newspapers and airwaves – and debate in the United Nations Security Council. Despite UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon…
Overdue for reform: UN Security Council. Overdue for reform: UN Security Council. EPA/Jason Szenes

UN Security Council veto is killing people

The conflicts in Ukraine, Gaza and Syria are symptomatic of deeper problems in the international system. If the Security Council were to fulfil its role under the UN Charter, tackling many of these tragic…
Urgent business: the UN Security Council discusses Gaza and the downing of flight MH17. Urgent business: the UN Security Council discusses Gaza and the downing of flight MH17. EPA/Jason Szenes

Hard Evidence: who uses veto in the UN Security Council most often – and for what?

On Thursday July 17, 298 people lost their lives when Flight MH17 was downed in eastern Ukraine. Almost immediately accusations were made that the aircraft had been shot down by pro-Russian separatists…
Isolated by sanctions - but does Putin care? Isolated by sanctions - but does Putin care? EPA/Mikhail Klimentyev/Ria Novosti

Explainer: how will sanctions against Russia work?

The sanctions against Russia just announced by the EU and the US are widely reported to be the harshest since the end of the Cold War. The package includes cutting off Russia’s state-owned banks from international…
Tony Abbott has announced his priorities for the G20 in Brisbane next year. Tony Abbott has announced his priorities for the G20 in Brisbane next year. AAP

Delivering growth but protecting economies: our G20 conundrum

With Russia handing the G20 host baton to Australia this month, and combined with our UN Security Council seat, the biggest year of Australian diplomacy begins. Prime Minister Tony Abbott had a backdrop…
Negotiations: Sergei Lavrov and John Kerry hammering out a deal on Syria. Negotiations: Sergei Lavrov and John Kerry hammering out a deal on Syria. US Department of State

Progress on Syrian WMDs but real test for UN lies ahead

The Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has announced it is sending a second team of weapons inspectors to Syria where, director-general Ahmet Üzümcü reports, destruction of al-Assad’s…
Should new prime minister Tony Abbott make his first impression on a world stage with a trip to the UN for Leaders' Week? Should new prime minister Tony Abbott make his first impression on a world stage with a trip to the UN for Leaders' Week? AAP/Andrew Gombert

New York is Jakarta: why Tony Abbott should attend Leaders’ Week at the UN

Foreign minister Julie Bishop’s austerity announcements over the weekend make it clear that she will attend Leaders' Week at the United Nations later this month. But it is still not clear whether Australia’s…
Whoever wins the federal election on Saturday will also be able to serve as president of the UN Security Council during Australia’s month-long stint. Whoever wins the federal election on Saturday will also be able to serve as president of the UN Security Council during Australia’s month-long stint. EPA/Peter Foley

This Saturday, Australians will finally elect a president

Australia is now President of the United Nations Security Council. Throughout September, Australia will set the council’s agenda and chair its meetings. But what will this Saturday’s federal election result…
Australia should use its new power on the UN Security Council to make sure women are high on the UN agenda. Australia should use its new power on the UN Security Council to make sure women are high on the UN agenda. UNIFEM

On the ‘big table’ of the Security Council, Australia must champion the cause of women

Australia has always taken a lead role in international security debates at the United Nations. In Canberra, representatives from civil society organisations will meet with the government to discuss Australia’s…
Despite the UN recently passing the Arms Trade Treaty, little has been done to regulate the use of drone warfare. Despite the UN recently passing the Arms Trade Treaty, little has been done to regulate the use of drone warfare. EPA/Yahya Arhab

Drone strikes and civilian protection: why Australia must take a stand

After over a decade of lobbying and at least three years of protracted negotiations, an overwhelming majority of the United Nations General Assembly voted to adopt the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in late March…
Australia is well-placed on the world stage to make a real difference to the lives of Afghanistan’s women. Australia is well-placed on the world stage to make a real difference to the lives of Afghanistan’s women. Jalil Rezayee/EPA

As Australia takes the world stage, it’s time to fulfil promises to Afghan and Syrian women

Today, the world marks International Women’s Day, recognising the equal rights and status of women. This year, Australia is significantly placed on the world stage to make a real difference to women’s…
We were delighted to be elected to the security council, now we must make the most of our tenure. We were delighted to be elected to the security council, now we must make the most of our tenure. AAP/Andrew Gombert

Australia must take a human rights focus at the security council

Now that Australia has taken its seat on the UN Security Council, it is worth considering how we might make a difference. Former diplomat Bruce Haig has recently dismissed Australia’s new role as chair…
Foreign Minister, Senator Bob Carr, casts Australia’s vote for membership of the Security Council. Foreign Minister, Senator Bob Carr, casts Australia’s vote for membership of the Security Council. EPA Andrew Gombert

Security council win a golden opportunity to fix national security at home

Australia’s successful campaign to win a two year seat on the UN Security Council is welcome news. While much of the commentary has focused on the domestic politics or the diplomacy of the bid, security…
Australia has won a seat at the table; but how much is it actually worth? Australia has won a seat at the table; but how much is it actually worth? EPA/Andrew Gombert

A misunderstood victory: Australia and the security council

It took a herculean effort, a lot of lobbying and much cash, but Australia has now, with a certain degree of surprise, netted a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council for two years, starting in…
With the war in Syria having no end in sight, is it time to support a no-fly zone? With the war in Syria having no end in sight, is it time to support a no-fly zone? EPA/CEM

R2P: the moral case for a no-fly zone in Syria

Syrian opposition fighters and members of the aid community have called for a no-fly zone in recent months, amid an increasingly vicious armed rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad. With thousands…
Bob Carr is getting very little love from The Australian’s Greg Sheridan of late. Bob Carr is getting very little love from The Australian’s Greg Sheridan of late. AAP/Lukas Coch

Soft diplomacy: Greg Sheridan gets it wrong on aid, Israel and the Security Council

Poor Greg Sheridan: he never met a prime minister he couldn’t be besotted with until Julia Gillard came along. Ever since she got the top job, he has been running a campaign designed to demonstrate that…
The bodies of people, including children, that anti-government activists claimed were killed by the Syrian Army in Houla. The bodies of people, including children, that anti-government activists claimed were killed by the Syrian Army in Houla.

Syria: is an international solution possible?

The appalling massacre of civilians, including children, in the town of Houla, near the Syrian city of Homs, was a senseless act beyond the unacceptable and ultimately self-defeating goal of crushing all…
Rudd’s commitment to Australia’s bid for a UN security council seat must continue under Bob Carr. Rudd’s commitment to Australia’s bid for a UN security council seat must continue under Bob Carr. EPA/Jason Szenes

Australia shouldn’t give up on a UN security council seat

Now we have a new foreign minister, some have suggested it’s time for Australia to give up its bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. During his time as prime minister and foreign minister…

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