Security Council Considers UN Peacekeeping Operations and Women in Peacekeeping (2019-04-11) by UN Photo/Manuel EliasUnited Nations Association of Australia
Diplomacy, peacekeeping, peace-building and disarmament
Designed to keep the peace, the United Nations Security Council is the most powerful body of the United Nations. The Security Council can authorise deployment of troops from UN member countries, mandate ceasefire during a conflict and impose economic penalties on countries.
First Session of the United Nations Security Council (1946-01-17) by UN PhotoUnited Nations Association of Australia
An early influencer
Australia played an important role in drafting the articles of the UN Charter that deal with the Security Council, arguing against allowing a veto power to the five permanent members - the United States, United Kingdom, China, Russia, and France.
First Session of the United Nations Security Council (1946-01-17) by UN Photo/Marcel BolomeyUnited Nations Association of Australia
First Session of UN Security Council, January 17, 1946
As a non-permanent member, Australia presides over the Council’s first meeting in London, on what the Hon. Norman J. O. Makin called “the most impressive day of my life.” Rotated among members alphabetically, the presidency of the Security Council was held again by Makin in 1947.
Indonesia (1951-01-01) by UN Photo/SCHUnited Nations Association of Australia
A world-first in Indonesia, 1947-1951
In September 1947 Australians were deployed as military observers in the Dutch East Indies during Indonesian independence to delineate and supervise the ceasefire and repatriate Dutch forces. They were the world’s first UN peacekeepers to deploy in the field.
Unified Forces in Korea (1950-09-01) by UN PhotoUnited Nations Association of Australia
Fighting with the unified forces in Korea, 1950-1956
It was evidence from Australian UN Commission on Korea Military Observers that enabled the UN to intervene when North Korea initiated hostilities against the South. UN Command—Korea was the UN’s first peace restoration (peacemaking) operation, involving some 17,000 Australians.
UN Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine (UNTSO) (1973-04-24) by UN Photo/Yutaka NagataUnited Nations Association of Australia
Protecting the ceasefire in Palestine, 1956-ongoing
The United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation ensures armistice terms are applied. UNTSO is the UN and Australia’s longest-running peacekeeping mission. Operations Officer Major Allan Windsor of Australia (C) consults with international colleagues in the Operations Room in 1973.
United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UN (1964-10-01) by UN PhotoUnited Nations Association of Australia
On duty in Cyprus, Nicosia, 1964-2017
The UN Force in Cyprus is among the world’s longest running peacekeeping missions. Its Civilian Police include Australians. Since May 1964 a total of 111 contingents involving more than 1,600 officers from all states and territories have served with UNFICYP.
United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) (1992-07-01) by UN Photo/Pernaca SudhakaranUnited Nations Association of Australia
An end to civil war in Cambodia, 1992-1993
The UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia supervised the ceasefire and general election following the civil war. A large force of 22,000 personnel was deployed from 32 different countries, with the military component commanded by Australian Lieutenant General John Sanderson.
Secretary-General Visits East Timor (2000-02-17) by UN Photo/Eskinder DebebeUnited Nations Association of Australia
Laying the foundations for peace in East Timor, 1999-2000
Of the six multinational operations that Australia has commanded—in Kashmir, Cambodia, the Sinai, Iraq, East Timor and the UN Truce Supervision Organisation—East Timor was the largest deployment of Australian Troops since WWII. Major General Peter Cosgrove (C) was international Force Commander, seen here with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan (1997-2006) (R).
Secretary-General Visits Australian Police International Deployment Facility (2011-09-08) by UN Photo/Eskinder DebebeUnited Nations Association of Australia
Peace and good governance in the Pacific
Cooperation with international partners contributes to Australia's international law enforcement interests and peacekeeping in our region. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon (2007-2016) visits trainee police cadets at Australian Police International Deployment Facility, Canberra.
Delegation of Australia in Security Council Chamber (2014-11-26) by UN Photo/Rick BajornasUnited Nations Association of Australia
Australia on the Security Council, 2013-2014
Delegation of Australia in the Council Chamber. UN Permanent Representative Gary Quinlan (C) was President of the Security Council in November 2014. We have served five two-year terms: 1946–47, 1956–57, 1973–74, 1985–86 and 2013-2014 and are bidding to be on again in 2029-2031.
Council Debates International Cooperation on Combating Terrorism (2014-11-19) by UN Photo/Loey FelipeUnited Nations Association of Australia
Cooperating to combat new threats
Julie Bishop, former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, presides over an open debate on combating terrorism and threats posed by foreign terrorist fighters, violent extremism, Al-Qaida and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Medical Care For Children in Bor, South Sudan. (2016-01-26) by UNMISS/JC McIlwaineUnited Nations Association of Australia
Caring for the newest country in the world, 2011-ongoing
The UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan protects civilians, monitors human rights and delivers humanitarian aid. Under Australia’s Operation ASLAN, Senior Military Liaison Officer Colonel Michael Bond renders medical care at the Protection of Civilians site in Bor.
Security Council Meets on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (2019-06-18) by UN Photo/Loey FelipeUnited Nations Association of Australia
21st century peacekeeping
Australia was an early supporter of women's meaningful participation in global peace and security. Here Australia's Major General Cheryl Pearce, Force Commander of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), addresses the Security Council.
International Peacekeepers Day: Medal Parade at UN Headquarters (2018-06-01) by UN Photo/Mark GartenUnited Nations Association of Australia
A culture of peace: more peacekeeper than combatant
Since 1947, over 70,000 Australian peacekeepers, military, civilian and police have been deployed to more than 60 operations around the world - more than in wartime - a commitment to peace that continues to be important today.
Created by the United Nations Association of Australia (NSW) to celebrate 75 years of the United Nations and the untold stories of Australia's involvement, in collaboration with the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and New South Wales Government agency Multicultural NSW, using photographs supplied by project partners and sourced from UN Photo.
With special thanks to the UNAA UN75 curation team: