The UN Security Council is made up of representatives from fifteen different nations, coming either from the


five permanent members of the Security Council, the UK, the US, Russia, China and France, or from the ten temporary members of the Security Council, which are elected every two years-the position for which Australia is currently campaigning from the beginning of 2013 to the end of 2014. These non-permanent nations don't hold veto power over resolutions the way the permanent members do, but they still have significant power in voting on and participating in discussion of resolutions.


  • That Australia should have a security council seat
  • That we should campaign for a security council seat


Australia was last on the security council in 1986, so there has been a reasonable period of time between campaigns. Its opponents for the 2013-2014 seat are Finland and Luxemburg, as (rather oddly) we're considered part of the 'Western Europe and others' region. Australia has been a major contributor to UN campaigns, as the Affirmative will argue, but the cost of the bid has been quite high, with Kevin Rudd estimating another $120 million will have to be spent campaigning for the seat, and further costs in contributions to the UN.


Affirmative Negative

1.1-Principle Argument-Merits of Australia for a security council seat:

  1. Haven't had a seat since 1986-deserve another chance.
  2. Major contributor to UN funds and actions; founding member, 12th largest contributor to campaigns, have doubled aid budget to over $4 billion to assist in UN millennium goals.
  3. Took part in recent campaigns in Cambodia, Bouganville and Afghanistan.

1.1-Unnecessary Argument-Our interests are already represented as:

  1. Agree with Britain and US, permanent security council members, on most foreign policy.
  2. South East Asia is already represented-China and Indonesia are already there.
  3. Unlikely to succeed in our campaign anyway-Luxembourg and Finland are better respected in the international community and have more funds to contribute.

1.2-Practical Argument-Benefits to Australia:

  1. Increased diplomatic relations with other nations as working together.
  2. More likely to get free trade agreements, e.g. better chance of getting into ASEAN (Assoc. of South East Asian Nations)
  3. More influence in world affairs.
  4. Others will invest in Australia-see our importance.

1.2-Practical Argument-Diplomatic Tensions results because:

  1. Our views are different from some other major nations-e.g. disagree with China on trade sanctions for North Korea.
  2. Isolate regional allies, e.g. trade sanctions on Fiji.

1.3-Principle Argument-Australia being on the Security Council will mean better decisions as:

  1. No bias reflected; unlike US, who are tied to Afghanistan, or Brazil, who are likely to try to make poor decisions on behalf of Argentina or Chile.
  2. Represent Pacific well-know area, strong role.
  3. Competitors are terrible-Luxembourg and Netherlands are too wealthy to know real problems of the world and too small to majorly contribute.

1.3-Principle Argument-having Australia on the security council is likely to mean more poor decisions as:

  1. Detached from the effect of interventions due to small military.
  2. Little funds to use.
  3. Very little diplomatic clout-other nations won't listen to country with small population and economy.

2.1-Practical Argument-Campaigning in itself is valuable, as it leads to increased discussion with and links to other nations with which we may not have interacted were it not for the security council bid.

2.1-Practical Argument-The cost to taxpayers:

  1. Monetary-over $200 million already spent on courting nations we have nothing to do with like Botswana.
  2. Waste of foreign ministry's time and effort when more important issues to be dealt with.
2.2-Practical Argument-Shows our ongoing support for the UN so that we are more respected internationally. 2.2-Practical Argument-Australia is seen as a proxy of the UK and the US by other nations, and will be disliked for attempting to gain a seat on the Security Council.


In this debate, a 3rd speaker will usually discuss:

  • The effects on UN decision-making
  • Whether Australia deserves a Security Council Seat
  • The effects on Australia