Australia to continue campaign for UNSC temporary seat

14:35, June 30, 2010      

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Australia will continue its campaign for a seat on the United Nations Security Council, despite the political demise of its principal backer Kevin Rudd, official announced on Wednesday.

According to Australia Associated Press (AAP), pressing for one of two temporary seats in 2013-14 was central to the former prime minister's activist, multilateral approach to foreign policy.

"The foreign agenda of his successor, Julia Gillard, is less clear," AAP said.

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith insisted the bid will stay on track as he secured another vote for Australia, Ghana.

"We continue to believe that a seat on the security council is a worthy thing for Australia to pursue," Smith told reporters during a joint press conference with Ghana's foreign minister Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni in Canberra.

The campaign for a temporary council seat involves significant diplomatic and economic resources as Australia tries to win the votes of more than 100 countries, with a focus on Africa.

The opposition has vowed to abandon the bid, saying it is costing 40 million dollars (34.1 million U.S. dollars).

The security council has five permanent members and 10 temporary members. Australia, which last held a council seat in 1986, is up against Finland and Luxembourg for the two vacant seats.

Smith on Tuesday said that the fundamentals of Australia's foreign policy - integrating with the Asia-Pacific, engaging with the United Nations, and the U.S. alliance - would continue under Gillard.

"Any prime minister, of course, brings different emphasis of style and nuances, so there may be changes in the future," he said of the prime minister.

Gillard became Australian first female prime minister last Thursday when Kevin Rudd stepped down.

Source: Xinhua


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