Page 4319 - Week 14 - Thursday, 24 October 1991

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Motion (by Mr Berry) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

United Nations Day

MR COLLAERY (5.32): Mr Speaker, I rise briefly to record that it is United Nations Day.

Mr Connolly: The flag is up there.

MR COLLAERY: The flag is up there, as Mr Connolly observes. There is every basis for every parliamentary assembly in this nation to mark that day in one form or another. The United Nations has done many things since its inception. After its translation from the League of Nations in 1945, a great Australian, Dr Evatt, gave a great speech in San Francisco.

We mention this every year, so I will cut it short, Mr Speaker. Yesterday in Paris a most important document was signed; it marks the beginning of peace in Cambodia. For the first time, except for special arrangements made in the Middle East, the United Nations will replace the entire civilian administration of that country and set that country going again in an orderly fashion, following the disgraceful exterminating activities of the hideous Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge people.

Mr Speaker, it is United Nations Day, and I believe that it is appropriate for me to say today that the United Nations needs further support, that the legal instruments that surround the United Nations need to be revised because the Big Five, as they are known, that is, China, France, the United Kingdom, the United States and can we say the Soviet Union or do we say Russia? - we are not sure - still have a stranglehold on the Security Council. That is not appropriate, and that caused the loss of the right initiative when the Balkan uprising started some months ago.

Now we have a situation in which, in international law, it is becoming even more difficult to deal with intervention by the United Nations and issues of sovereignty. It is a great shame that we have not yet refined the United Nations' head instruments. That is particularly so now that there is no real fifth member, the Soviet Union.

I say today that there has been a quietness from this legislature on the Balkan issues. I have not heard more than perhaps one or two of my colleagues here state a point of view on that issue. I believe that it is time for all Australians to stand up and state that the ruthless activities of the Yugoslav Federal Army at the moment in

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