Thursday 16 Aug 2018 | 20:09 | SYDNEY
Thursday 16 Aug 2018 | 20:09 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: UNSC membership


Sam Roggeveen


3 August 2009 17:38

James Ingram, former Australian diplomat and head of the UN World Food Program, comments on Australia's UN Security Council aspirations:

Raoul's piece hits the target. In an address to the Lowy Institute in August 2007 on UN reform, I suggested that:

'...we would be unwise to seek membership of the Security Council. Membership is flattering to the egos of foreign ministers and ambassadors but for Australia the potential risks are high. There is always the possibility of giving gratuitous offence to friendly nations on matters peripheral to us but vital to them. The arrogance of power too easily rubs onto the acolyte of the great and powerful...More importantly, on any issue of concern to the US we would be under great pressure to lend our support. To do so would only reinforce the impression that Australia is no longer an ally but an American satellite.'

That was written in the expectation of a Labor victory. It is clear that in all essentials the Rudd Government is as subservient to the US as its predecessor, in some respects perhaps marginally more so, for example in relation to Middle East issues including Israel and Afghanistan.
Sadly, so long as the US 'allliance' is (and is seen by other govenments as) the unexamined foundation of our foreign policy it probably matters little whether or not we are on the Security Council. The world already knows the reality behind our government's posturing as an 'independent voice' on the most critical global foreign policy issues.