Prime Minister Tony Abbott has addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.
Abbott’s speech was a general statement of principles in which he talked of the United Nations as a body that works for the “common good”. He itemised Australia’s contribution to global issues since the organisation’s founding in 1947.
Abbott said: “Since 1947, Australia has provided more than 65,000 personnel to more than 50 multilateral peace and security operations. We are not a country accustomed to turning back once we’ve put our hand to the plough; we’ve had blue beret personnel in the Middle East since 1956 and in Cyprus since 1964. When leadership is needed, we step up, as we did in Bougainville, in Timor-Leste and in Solomon Islands. In Korea, Cambodia, Kuwait and Afghanistan; in Somalia and Sierra Leone and in other troubled places, Australians have lent a hand under the UN’s banner.”
Abbott appropriated the words of Labor Prime Minister Ben Chifley in describing the work of the UN: “One of our prime ministers once talked about a great objective, our ‘light on the hill‘ as he put it, to work for the betterment of mankind, not just at home but wherever we can lend a helping hand.” [Read more...]