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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 8967

TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW WITH THE PRIME MINISTER, THE HON PJ KEATING MP, UNITED NATIONS CENTRE, NEW YORK, USA 15 SEPTEMBER 1993

Photo of Keating, Paul

Keating, Paul

Period of Service: 20/12/1991 to 11/03/1996

More information about Keating, Paul on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 15/09/1993

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 8967

TEL: 16-. Sep. 9,3 9: 15 No. 007 P. 08/ 0
PRIME MINISTER
TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW WITH THE PRIME MINISTER, THE IfON. P. 3.
KEATING, UNITED NATIONS CENTRI!, NEW YORK, U. S. A.
SEPTEMBJER, 1993
J: Prime Minister, did the U. N. ask for any more Australian contribution to
peacekeeping efforts?
PM: No, I had the chance of a good discussion with the S ecretary-General about the
United Nations, about its rote in the world today and its future. I reassured him of
Australia's commitment to the United Nations, as a foundation member, which has
always paid its dues on time and which has committc4 itself to the serious work of'
the including peace keeping. The Secretary-General told me that there is
great difficulty in managing the organisation with many countries not paying their
funding to the organisation on time which, he says, constrains its capacity to
play the role it can play in the world.
I've assured him that we will continue to be the stolid supporters of the
organisation which we are and that his agenda for peace initiative which he
unveiled some time ago that Australia is responding to that seriously with a
major work. And that in all the other activities that the United Nations undertakes
we'll continue to play the role we've played. In the czurse of his discussions with
me he indicated that the U. N's role goes, of course, beyond peace keeping to other
agendas; like the agenda for women and other humanitarian and social programs.
And I indicated to him that Australia was intent upon holding an international
conference on multiculturalismi next year and he indicated, very generously,
support for that proposal. So, we shall probably end up, I think, next year holding
a conference on multiculturalisin an international confcrence, with the support
of the United Nations and its Secret ary-General.
T. How extensively did you preview the Evans proposals?
PM: Not extensively but he said he was grateful that Australia had responded and was
participating in the dcbatc about the organisation's future. And that was the kind
of debate that he wanted stimulated and he was pleased that we were responding in
the serious way that we were.
J Did you express any reservations about some of the, apparently, appalling things
the U. N. has been up to in Somalia?

TEL
PM: No, only to say that I thought that if the U. N's prestige matters that like any other
organisation it has got to build a constituency for itself within the populations and
the communities of member states. That whatever it does it should try and pick its
mark so that what it does it does well. So " that with its prestige high, its charter
can then be more effective.
J: So, are you concerned about some of the things going on in Somalia?
PM: Well, in some respects, in some particular things, yes. But, I didn't go to the
particular in this discussion.
J: Do you think Australia is doing enough, sufficiently, in the peace keeping area?
PM: Well, we've I think, at the moment got about 600 people in Cambodia. We're in the
Middle East and the Sahara and I think probably we've got upwards of 700 people
around the world in peace keeping. I think the Secretary-General thinks we're
pulling our weight which I am sure we are. And, in Australia's terms, we can only
support this organisation institutionally, support the requests when we think we
can meet them and play our role and pay our dues on time.
J: Did you discuss East Timor with the Secret ary-General, Sir?
PM: No.
J: Could you comment on the latest U. S. moves to put pressure on the Government
of Indonesia?
PM: No. I didn't discuss it with him.
J: But could you comment?
PM: No, I'm not here to discuss that.
J1: Mr Keating you haven't thought about taking a peace keeping force with you to
confront the tabloids in London, have you?
PM: Not I thought you'd do that.
Ends. T1E6L:. Sep. 93 9: 15 No. 00? P. 09/ 09

Transcript 8967