193 members of the United Nations cast their votes in a secret ballot for the non- permanent seats on the Security Council. At the end of the voting Australia received 140 votes -more than enough to take victory in the first round. The Australian nation is now part of a powerful diplomatic elite, of which the nation hadn't been a part of for the past 27 years.
The Australians played down their chances but everyone who had promised their vote, delivered on it. The Caribbean nations, for example, stood behing Australia when casting their votes. As a block, they delivered 14 of their entitled 15 votes. The Caribbean is a close supporter of the nation and its iniciatives, such as Action Aid Australia, and like their responsiveness to the problems of small island States.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Foreign Minister Bob Carr thanked Australia's regional and global partners for the confidence they had shown in Australia and underlined that Australia would play a constructive role across the amplitude of the Council's peace and security agenda. Gillard and Carr also congratulated Luxembourg, South Korea, Argentina and Rwanda, the other four countries elected to serve as non-permanent members for 2013-14.
Some of Australia's key priorities while completing their two year term, beginnig the 1st of January of next year, will include Syria, discussions on the creation of a small arms treaty, nuclear disarmament and women and girls promotion in development countries.
Australia's appointment marks the reward of a long and strong promotion mission on behalf of its Foreign Policy's officials; it is certainly a great opportunity and succes for the nation.
"We are a nation that is a substantial contributer to the UN and it was more than time for us to return to the Security Council and to play a role over the next two years in shaping events that are truly important to our nation" -Prime Minister Julia Gillard
The official DFAT press release can be found at: http://foreignminister.gov.au/releases/2012/bc_mr_121019.html