PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 6884


Photo of Hawke, Robert

Hawke, Robert

Period of Service: 11/03/1983 to 20/12/1991

More information about Hawke, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 16/04/1986

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 6884

The Australian Permanent Representative to the United Nations,
His Excellency Mr Richard Woolcott, will make the following
statement to the Security Council later today!
" Australia speaks today mindful of the primary responsibility
of the Security Council for the maintenance of international
peace and security. World attention is focussed on this body
and people around the world look to us to take positive action
to achieve a peaceful resolution of the issue before us. We
must respond effectively to the challenge.
As tension has developed in the Central Mediterranean,
Australia has continued to counsel restraint. As a matter
of principle Australia rejects any attempts to resolve
differences between nations by violent measures and in
particular through terrorism. This is a principle which
has guided the Australian Delegation in its approach to many
of the issues which have come before this body.
As the Prime Minister said on 15 April, the Australian
Government deeply regrets that this conflict has taken place.
We urge both sides to engage in genuine efforts to bring
about the peaceful resolution of their differences.
It will mean, as an absolute and essential condition, that
Colonel Gaddafi terminate his Government's direction and
export of, and support for, terrorist activity against
civilians and civilian targets, such as have beeni perpetrated
recently against United States civilians. This would also
mean that the United States should desist from further
military action against Libya.
It was an occasion for some satisfaction when the Fortieth
General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution on measures
to prevent international terrorism. That resolution unequivocally
condemned as criminal all acts, methods and practices of
terrorism wherever and by whomever committed. The resolution,
I repeat, was adopted by consensus.
And yet, terrorism has continued.
The Australian Government accepts that there is a substantial
body of evidence of Libyan involvement in and direction of
international terrorism. This situation cannot continue.
ti. 1

We have all condemned such outrages. We have deplored the
loss of innocent human lives and the poisoning of relations
among States which result from these pernicious acts. We
therefore stand ready to work with the whole membership of
this organisation to bring international terrorism to an end.
If terrorism cannot be rooted out, the international community
faces a dark future of increasing violence. Already, the
situation has reached the point where the United States has
felt compelled by Libyan actions to regard it as essential to
take military action. Threats of further violence have followed
from several quarters. There have been some calls to arms, when
the world should be calling for mediation, negotiation,
conciliation in short a peaceful settlement.
If we do not make a stand in favour of such peaceful means, we
will be surrendering to an intensifying cycle of violence.
Mr President, having stated the position of the Australian
Government on the question before the Security Council, I now
wish to move onto new ground.
In this debate so far, we have heard a substantial number of
interventions. These have attempted to establish the parameters
of discussion. They have been deficient, however, in that they
have not addressed clearly and sufficiently the question of wihat
can be done to contain and stop this conflict and in
particular what the Security Council can do to this end.
If our work this week is not to be a complete failure, yet
another sterile exchange without constructive end, it is
necessary that all of us, members of the Council and members
of the United Nations, should turn our minds actively and
without further delay to the discharge of our responsibilities
to avoid further tensions and to bring our deliberations to a
constructive conclusion.
The Security Council has wide powers in this regard under
Chapter VI of the Charter. I mention Article 33 whereby
the Council may call upon parties to settle their dispute
by a variety of means, Article 34 whereby the Council
may investigate any dispute, and Article 36 whereby the
Council may at any stage recommend appropriate procedures.

Members of the Council may have difficulty agreeing upon the
precise and total nature of the dispute. But there should be
no question of disagreement that, within the purpose of the
articles I have cited, the maintenance of international peace
and security has been endangered. Article 36( 1) captures this
point precisely in its reference to a dispute of the nature
referred to in Article 33 " or of a situation of like nature"
There is also a range of procedures available for the Council
to pursue these objectives, which would merit urgent
examination in the case before us. In saying this we have
in mind the role the Secretary-General might play in this
matter and Australia would naturally support any such
endeavours by him.
It is my objective now to press the Council to assume
its responsibilities in this regard.
I do not necessarily wish to make firm proposals as to the
exact method that the Council itself might employ. That is
for consideration and decision by members. But the Council
needs to act constructively with the cooperation of the parties
and it may assist the Council's deliberations if I identify a
number of courses:
the Security Council must play its part and I believe
the President of the Council has the responsibility
under the Charter to channel the Council's energy in
constructive ways.
The peaceful means of dispute settlement elaborated in
Article 33 of the Charter are also worthy of careful
consideration. Finally, Mr President, I note that the parties themselves
could bring the dispute to a speedy end by making and
strictly observing genuine and binding commitments to the
Security Council about their future conduct. These
commitments would include on the one hand a pledge
concerning the strictest respect for and adherence
to the terms of UNGA Res40/ 6& whichunequivocally condemns
terrorism and calls on all states to refrain from
organising, instigating, assisting or participating in
terrorist acts. They would also include on the other
hand a reciprocal commitment to refrain from recourse
to armed force. The Council could examine urgently how
such commitments might be undertaken by the present
parties and by all states concerned.
Mr President, I have indicated that the Australian Government
wishes the Council to move from the stage of debate to the
stage of accepting its responsibilities to promote a peaceful
settlement, on terms acceptable to the parties and to the
world community.
I suggest that you, Mr President, should institute and pursue
consultations among member states to this end. You will have the
full coooerat. ion of the Australian deleqat n in that endeavou."

Transcript 6884