AUSTRALIA had some “wins and losses” on the final day of campaigning for a seat on the United Nations security council but it is impossible to call, Foreign Minister Bob Carr says.
Senator Carr is in New York to drum up last-minute support alongside Australian diplomats before the vote early on Friday morning Australian time.
Australia is vying for one of the non-permanent seats available, in the West European and others category, against Luxembourg and Finland.
Senator Carr said while some diplomats were inclined to say there were three or four votes in it, he held a different view.
“I simply don’t think you can tell, I don’t think you can tell either way,” he told ABC TV on Thursday night.
“There’ve been wins and losses.
“We’ve had nations tell us candidly they are not supporting us, others have confirmed their support.”
The only thing Senator Carr was certain of was that the vote would be close.
About $25 million has been spent on the campaign since it was kicked off by former prime minister Kevin Rudd in 2008.
Senator Carr said even if Australia lost the vote, it would still be worth every cent.
“We believe that win or lose tomorrow this campaign has been good,” he said.
“It’s seen an intensification of foreign policy.”
Australia has not held a seat on the Security Council for more than 25 years and faces stiff competition from its two European competitors, who have been lobbying intensely for selection for the better part of 10 years.
Launching the bid four years ago, Mr Rudd argued that it was in the national security interest to sit on the powerful 15-member body.
The council deals with security issues directly relevant to Australia, including the Afghanistan conflict, and peacekeeping missions in East Timor and the Solomon Islands.
Senator Carr said Australia’s peacekeeping experience, including in the Solomons, East Timor and Cambodia, qualified Australia to make a contribution to protecting civilians and building peace.
But he said there were agenda items he’d like to see elevated if Australia’s bid was successful, including the goal of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.