Gillard - Getting Things Done
October 19, 2012 3:34 AM   Subscribe

A great week for Australian Diplomacy
It has been an excellent week for Australian diplomacy. Prime Minister Julia Gillard established a strong new beginning for Australia's sometimes-troubled ties with a rising India. And the crowning moment was of course the country's victory in its bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council ...

China to test Gillard on Security Council seat
Chinese officials have signalled Beijing expects Australia to take a less pro-American approach to diplomacy on the United Nations Security Council
posted by de (20 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Feh. I bet if Tony Abbott was in charge, we'd have two seats on the Security Council by now. If not the entire Council.
</hamburger>
posted by acb at 4:13 AM on October 19, 2012


Been trying to figure out all day what this actually means, besides Australia having front-row seats to watch Russia veto anything to do with Syria, and the US veto anything to do with Israel...
posted by Jimbob at 5:05 AM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now if only the MSM would stop talking about her fucking shoes and the fact she fell over on her trip to India.
posted by crossoverman at 5:10 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now if only the MSM would stop talking about her fucking shoes and the fact she fell over on her trip to India.

You know, I've created such a bubble for myself that I have not read, heard, or seen a single story about this. I'm only aware of it happening because someone on Twitter linked to someone else's rant complaining about the MSM talking about it.

God help me if the Australian media actually cover an important story anytime; I won't know about it for days.
posted by Jimbob at 5:13 AM on October 19, 2012


Interesting analysis:

Australian National University-based defence analyst Hugh White said winning a Security Council Seat was “always going to be more of a liability than an asset’’ and it would throw up “all sorts of issues you wouldn’t normally adopt a position on’’.

“Being on the Council is going to cost us in terms of the relationships that matter most to us particularly with the US and China,” he said.

“I think Australia is much better off conducting its diplomacy through traditional channels whether its with the support of the US or the UK or some other grouping and we have proven to be quite effective.”

posted by KokuRyu at 5:22 AM on October 19, 2012


An “unbiased attitude” to territorial disputes in the South China Sea and the East China Sea means a to accept the Chinese position, which is of course the opposite of an unbiased attitude. Many observers with no particular dog in the fight (myself among them) conclude that China's claims in the South China Sea and the East China Sea are, to put it kindly, junk.

The 'funny' thing is, China never tolerates other countries' commentary on any aspect of its external relations, and instantly denounces such statements as unacceptable interference in China's sovereign prerogatives.
posted by 1adam12 at 5:26 AM on October 19, 2012


Been trying to figure out all day what this actually means

Ditto. I was surprised to learn this morning that Australia has sat on the security council on five previous occasions. Mostly recently, according to wikipedia, in 1986. Did it mean anything of consequence then?
posted by adamt at 5:43 AM on October 19, 2012



The 'funny' thing is, China never tolerates other countries' commentary on any aspect of its external relations, and instantly denounces such statements as unacceptable interference in China's sovereign prerogatives.
posted by 1adam12 at 8:26 AM on October 19 [+] [!]


I dunno if that's really all that strange. Most countries I can think of don't really tolerate other countries' commentary on their foreign relations and denounce such statements as unacceptable interference.

Perhaps it's because China is such a major global player they are distorting your perspective over a country's acceptance of foreign criticism.
posted by dazed_one at 7:08 AM on October 19, 2012


I have played Civilisation and I know without nukes you need to go for the diplomatic victory.
posted by vicx at 8:27 AM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Did it mean anything of consequence then?

Not really, as the non-permanent seats don't have a veto. Since then, though, calls for expansion of the number of permanent seats or the powers of the non-permanent seats have increased, and there's a lot of discussion suggesting that Brazil or India or South Africa ought to be made permanent members. It could also be said that the first-round win is an endorsement of the concept that the non-permanent members, in particular, represent the collective voice of the Assembly on the Security Council and have a responsibility to speak up for the greater good (or greater interest, anyway).

Does this have a substantial effect on the problematic issues facing the Council? Hard to say. It think it's largely an example of Churchill's "jaw-jaw is better than war-war" quote.

dazed_one, to be sure, China being a Communist state with whatever-its-current-ideology-is, it has a particularly Cold War style to its rhetoric that is quite jarring today. I don't think they're that much different in principle from other superpowers, particularly the US, in throwing their weight around and making everyone else scoot out of the way lest getting crushed, but they use outdated language that doesn't conceal it or soften it much.

Koko_Ryu, there is definitely something to that analysis in that multilateralism by its nature is going to take at the very least some attention away from any extant bilateralism, but in the long run I think this is the more winning move for Australia, which has pretty much been a tag-along to the UK and then the US for almost all its history. It's a significant move.
posted by dhartung at 9:39 AM on October 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have played Civilisation and I know without nukes you need to go for the diplomatic victory.

I'd support a kickstarter for the Australian spaceship to Alpha Centauri.
posted by ersatz at 9:53 AM on October 19, 2012


the Australian spaceship to Alpha Centauri

Alpha Centauri Bb may have a toasty surface temperature of 1200 F, but that's still a long way to go to put a shrimp on the barbie.
posted by CynicalKnight at 10:09 AM on October 19, 2012


Depends how badly Gillard wants to barbecue the shrimp.
You're talking Romney?
posted by de at 10:22 AM on October 19, 2012


MOVING AUSTRALIA’S PUBLIC DIPLOMACY BEYOND THE CULT OF RUDD
FEB 29, 2012 -- Caitlin Byrne

AUSTRALIA ON THE UNSC: BIG, JUICY AND DECISIVE
OCT 19, 2012 -- Caitlin Byrne
posted by de at 8:36 PM on October 19, 2012


It means we're a real country now. Before they were all 'lol its Australia' and now they're all 'whoa they're up there with Togo'.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:22 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


We're beginning to go it alone, and Gillard is demonstrating global competence (Rudd's legacy).

GETTING IT RIGHT DOWN UNDER?
APR 13, 2010 -- Daryl Copeland

Has Obama fulfilled [his] promise of being a 'Pacific President'?
He has no idea. He's not rooted in this stuff.

Is Gillard leading the way? Yes ...
and the US hasn't displaced her.
posted by de at 10:38 PM on October 19, 2012


It's not just Rudd's legacy. Australia's Labor focus on the Asia-Pacific began with Whitlam, and Hawke, Keating and Rudd have stayed true to the reforms. Gillard's bringing it home.

(This could win her the next election.)
posted by de at 10:43 PM on October 19, 2012


(This could win her the next election.)

No, it won't. Australians don't really care about international issues. They even don't overly care about asylum seekers. The election's going to be fought on cost of living pressure, trust in government, and the usual culture war nonsense (sexism for Labor, the assorted dog whistles for the Coalition).

Been trying to figure out all day what this actually means

Australia gets a very slightly larger presence of the global stage, which it will use to agree with the USA. DFAT gets to make a bid for more funding. The rest of Asia continues to see us as a conga line of suckholes. That's about it.
posted by kithrater at 3:58 AM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks for those links, I'll refer back to them in six months and really hope to see change, meanwhile I can only hope that you're wrong, that Australia -- under Labor -- will make a difference on the UNSC which necessitates, hopefully, that Australia does not merely fall in behind the USA (more especially a Romney led USA) just because that's how it's been.

We should never lose sight of that hope because it has not always been in our best interests to follow the USA, and we need to get that fact out into the open and act on it. Soon. This century.

Also Australians cannot remain so naive as to think economic and financial issues at home can be separated from international relations, diplomacy and trade. If that's what a majority of Australians think, then education and transparency in government is required. Rudd wasn't good at either, nor at getting things done. Maybe Gillard will begin to shine - with the right advice.

I believe DFAT has already requested additional funding to accommodate growth and to my mind this is an appropriate investment in future generations. It all seems right to me. (I'd be more begrudging of buying Abbott his drones for border protection purposes, when he means obsessively watching for boat loads of asylum seekers. FI he is.)

The thing I like best about the prospect of Australia negotiating at the UNSC is the separation of security relationships from trade relationships. Australia (and New Zealand) are uniquely Western middle-powers in an Eastern neighbourhood. That needs accommodating by us - independently - not any other nation.

It's starting, but Gillard will need another term, else it's back to Howard MkII -- and the conga line of suckholes you refer to .
posted by de at 6:53 AM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


The scale and pace of Asia’s transformation is unprecedented and the implications for Australia are profound. The Australian Government has commissioned a White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century to consider the likely economic and strategic changes in the region and what more can be done to position Australia for the Asian Century.


The Prime Minister has announced she will release the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper on Sunday 28 October 2012 at 1pm in a speech to the Lowy Institute for International Policy.

The White Paper will be available to download on Sunday.
Download from http://asiancentury.dpmc.gov.au/
posted by de at 7:19 AM on October 24, 2012


« Older Mitigating Mutational Meltdown in Mammalian Mitoch...  |  You might find this an agreeab... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments