Australia is firmly committed to effective global cooperation, including through the United Nations (UN) and its specialised agencies and regional commissions. Engaging with the multilateral system is a key pillar of Australia's foreign policy. This is because we live in a complex, inter-connected world where countries cannot address on their own some of the major challenges we face today.
Australia is a founding member of the UN, an active participant in UN institutions for 70 years and the 12th largest contributor to the UN regular and peacekeeping budgets. Australia held the first Presidency of the Security Council in 1946 and provided the first military personnel as peacekeepers under UN auspices a year later, to Indonesia.
International Peace and Security
Australia has provided more than 65,000 personnel to more than 50 UN and other multilateral peace and security operations since 1947. Of these, over 30,000 have participated in UN peace operations and more than 20,000 in UN-mandated operations.
Australia has been integrally involved in global efforts to build and restore peace for more than 60 years. Australia held the first Presidency of the UN Security Council in 1946 and provided the first military personnel as peacekeepers under UN auspices a year later, to Indonesia. As a capable and dependable partner, Australian expertise is sought after in developing the frameworks for promoting human rights, protecting the most vulnerable and preventing a return to conflict.
Australia has a long and distinguished record of promoting global disarmament and non-proliferation. Australia played a leading role in the negotiation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Australia also initiated the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and, with Japan, the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. More recently, Australia established, also with Japan, the ten-country Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative to take forward the outcomes of the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. In addition, Australia is deeply engaged with the negotiations for a new Arms Trade Treaty to enhance international standards for the transfer of conventional arms.
Australia is committed to strengthening international law to prevent conflict and restore peace and security. We are engaged in the work of the United Nations Security Council, where we last served in 2013-2014, and to which we are seeking election in 2029-2030.
Australia has an enduring commitment to human rights internationally and is a party to major human rights treaties. Australia was one of the eight countries that drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and we have been a leading proponent of its consistent and comprehensive implementation. We are a candidate for the Human Rights Council for 2018-2020.