Australia got what it came for in New York - the coveted UN Security Council seat--the country secured through intense diplomatic campaigns and a whopping price tag of $24 million, not to mention the billions spent and issued as aids to specific nations in order to win their support.
The number of votes required was 129 out of the 193 members of the United Nations and the Aussie bid collected more than what it asked - 140 votes secretly casted on the floor, backing the country's wishes to return to a Council post it last occupied in 1986.
The non-permanent term starts on January 2013 and will last for two years as Foreign Minister Bob Carr proclaimed Australia won the nod of nations' delegates because Canberra is regarded as "good global citizen."
"It's the world saying 'we see Australia as a good country, a fine global citizen'," Senator Carr was quoted by Fairfax as saying on Friday.
"It's always good to see Australia win ... and this is a big, juicy, decisive win," the obviously exulted foreign minister added as he talked to reporters at the UN lobby shortly after the result came out.
In a subsequent interview with ABC, Senator Carr credited the efforts poured by the prime minister for the UN bid, recounting that "Julia Gillard engaged in intensive diplomacy with heads of government and heads of state and made a big hit in the UN last month."
"This is an unequivocal win for Australia and we couldn't have done it without the prime minister's lobbying," he added.
The senator also acknowledged former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for the fresh honour bestowed to Australia's work in the global diplomatic arena, noting that the former Labor leader had initiated the 5-year-in-the-making victory.
A spokesman for Mr Rudd said in a statement that the former PM "wanted to thank all those members of the international community who have placed their confidence in Australia to uphold the global rules-based order."
"Mr Rudd congratulates the entire Australian diplomatic service who performed with total professionalism in securing a great result for Australia in a highly competitive race." The statement also read.
The now Labor backbencher lauded too Ms Gillard and Senator Carr "for their strong and successful advocacy for Australia."
Initial media reports have insinuated that the successful Council campaign by the Labor-led government translates into another honour while coming at the same time as a reproach for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, who had earlier characterised the UN bid as a waste of money at the expense of Australian taxpayers.
Speaking on Nine Network today, Mr Abbott said: "A win's a win, I welcome it. Let's hope we put the next two years on the Security Council to good use."
"It was an expensive win and I think it probably owes at least as much to Kevin Rudd as Julia Gillard," the Liberal leader added.
His deputy, Julie Bishop, is forward looking and hinted that a Coalition government inheriting the Council seat will definitely work for reforms of the UN structure, which she noted "has been in its current formation for many years since the Second World War."
"I think it would be a useful way to spend our time if we were to look at reforming the UN ... there are many aspects that are of concern about the United Nations generally," Ms Bishop was reported by The Australian as saying.
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