Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

AIJAC congratulates Australian Government on emphatic UN Security Council success

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Media Release


The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) today welcomed the election of Australia to a two-year temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council in New York overnight, and congratulated the Australian Government on achieving this outcome.

AIJAC National Chairman Mark Leibler stated, "AIJAC welcomes a successful end to Australia's long-fought efforts to gain a temporary seat on the UN Security Council. We also congratulate the Australian Government - especially Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Foreign Minister Bob Carr, his deputy Richard Marles, and all the professionals who worked diligently to achieve this very happy outcome so emphatically. Our success is well-deserved - as a middle-level, principled, democratic nation and good global citizen, we won the respect and ultimately the support of others internationally, on our own merits and without compromising our support for Israel."

AIJAC Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein added: "Australia's success at the UN is particularly welcome, because as a responsible, democratic international actor, Australia now has the opportunity to add much-needed value to the problematic proceedings of that often disappointing organisation over the next two years. First and foremost must be efforts to reform the dysfunctional, wasteful, often even corrupt processes and institutions of the UN so that it can adequately tackle the tasks that its founders intended. Part of these efforts should be an attempt to address the systematic, entrenched and obsessive biases against Israel which have developed at the world body, which are not only discriminatory, but impede hopes for a viable and lasting negotiated two-state peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

"And of course", Dr. Rubenstein continued, "Australia's new role on the UN Security Council will enable Canberra to have a positive and responsible influence over key international challenges, including the escalating crisis over Iran's illegal nuclear program, the horrific bloodshed in Syria, Afghanistan , the tense stand-offs in the South China Sea, the Euro crisis and other vital issues which have such global import and the potential to impact Australia and Australians.

"Particularly gratifying, as Prime Minister Gillard demonstrated once again in her recent UN speech by effectively calling on the Palestinians to return to direct negotiations with Israel, was the fact that this important success was achieved without diminishing Australia's tradition of strong support for Israel, or Australia's bipartisan, realistic and well-informed policies for seeking to promote a genuine, negotiated two-state peace outcome. This Government has demonstrated that, contrary to the unfounded claims of critics, principled support for Israel and for authentic peace can and will prevail over short-sighted and misconceived opportunism," Dr. Rubenstein concluded.

For additional information, contact Dr. Colin Rubenstein on 03-9681-6660 or crubenstein@aijac.org.au.

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