Will Australia re-enter the UN Security Council after more than two decades of absence? Foreign Minister Bob Carr would love to think so but he admitted that the result of the rather late Aussie bid could never be known until the last vote is cast.
On Friday, Australia time, the 193-nation members of the United Nation will vote to fill up the five non-permanent seats for the powerful governing council of the global body, giving the victorious nations two-year terms that will commence rolling on 2013.
According to Fairfax Media reports on Tuesday, Finland is a virtual shoo-in for a priced slot, leaving Australia and Luxembourg to tussle it out for the last seat reserved for the bloc of countries collectively labelled as the 'Western Europe and Others Group'.
Citing an unidentified foreign ministry official, The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that Canberra appears to enjoy some edge over Luxembourg, which developed following the joint efforts by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Senator Carr to win considerable amount of votes during the annual UN General Assembly meet held in New York on September.
"You might think on paper you've got the numbers you need but 40 per cent can't be trusted," the official was quoted by The Herald as saying.
Luxembourg, however, could emerge as the traditional favourite of the powerful European bloc obviously due to geographic reasons, analysts said.
Australia, on the other hand, will have to rely on the goodwill it has created through the years among nations found in the African and Asia-Pacific region, the latter specifically beneficiaries of billions of dollars in development aids dispensed by the Labor-led government over the last half-decade, The Australian said.
Yet the bottomline, according to Senator Carr, the country can never be complacent considering that its pitch for the prestigious Council seat was only started in 2008 by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
"I must say I find expressions of support very heartening, but you don't know until the result is in ... It's impossible to tell," the foreign minister told ABC in an interview today.
That is the very reason, Senator Carr added, that he's New York now - to bolsters whatever gains Australia has achieved at the moment and push the country to remain a strong contender at the very end.
Fairfax said Australia will host UN delegates to a reception on Monday night, New York time, and the succeeding days will be marked by Senator Carr's team intense lobbying to secure the nation's Council bid.
The continuing efforts will remain funded by the $24 million taxpayers' money earmarked by the government for the campaign, which Senator Carr said will hopefully lead to a positive result.
The whole voting process, he added, is a secret ballot, further raising Australia's chances of capturing what it came for in New York.
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