Today Australia assumes the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council for the month of November.

The Presidency provides an important opportunity to advance Australia’s national security interests and priorities, and to demonstrate our active contribution to the Council during our two year term.

Australia’s Presidency comes at a time when the world faces an unprecedented number of complex challenges to international peace and security, including the threat of ISIL in Iraq and Syria.

We will focus our Presidency on strengthening international cooperation to combat terrorism, including tackling the threat of foreign fighters and countering violent extremism. The terrorist threat we face today is exceptional because of the spread of ISIL and Al Qaida’s toxic ideology. We must maintain momentum on international cooperation to tackle this scourge.

We will also seek to strengthen the effectiveness of police deployments in UN peacekeeping operations, including though the first ever Security Council resolution on UN policing. Among a range of outcomes, the resolution will recognise the importance of women’s participation in policing, and encourage deployment of more women in UN Police Components.

Finally, we will propose the Security Council take action to modernise the implementation of sanctions. UN sanctions are a key tool for starving armed groups and terrorists of funds, weapons and recruits.

Australia has served with distinction on the Security Council. We will use our second Presidency to build on our strong reputation for making practical, innovative and constructive contributions to the Council’s work on the maintenance of international peace and security.

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