167 x 248 x 38mm
This landmark reference work is the first complete history of Australia and its relationship with, and role within, the United Nations.
On 17 January 1946, when the United Nations Security Council held its inaugural session, an Australian representative, Norman Makin, presided.
If all members adhered to the principles of the United Nations Charter, predicted Makin, the United Nations would become "a great power for the good of the world, bringing that freedom from fear, which is necessary before we can hope for progress and welfare in all lands".
Australia and the United Nations traces how Australia committed itself to the United Nations project, from before the convening of the first United Nations Security Council until the eve of its election to a fifth term on that body.
The book begins with Australian involvement with the organisation that preceded the United Nations, the League of Nations. It then analyses the role played by Australian Minister for External Affairs, HV Evatt, and his staff in framing the United Nations Charter at San Francisco in 1945.
Three chapters analyse Australia's diplomacy towards the Security Council, its efforts in peacekeeping, and evolving policies and attitudes towards arms control and disarmament.
Two chapters discuss Australia's engagement with the United Nations' manifold specialised agencies and the role of the broader UN family in development. Another two chapters are devoted to a study of Australia's role in areas of United Nations operation only dimly foreseen by its founders at San Francisco-decolonisation and the environment.
The two final chapters examine Australia's contribution to the promotion of human rights and international law and the important role it has played seeking to improve the United Nations' performance to equip it to meet new challenges in global politics.
Australia and the United Nations tells us what was done in the past, and why. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to better understand Australia's multilateral diplomacy, and our future choices.