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For a model UN I was assigned Australia. The topics we were given were a) weapons of mass destruction and b) development.  Both of these are in regards to peace and security under the Security Council. I need help as to where Australia’s general position/stance would be on these topics, who her allies are and what her public position would be. Any ideas to help get me started? 

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In order to start thinking about these issues, I would suggest that you think about two things.  First, think about Australia’s history.  Second, think about its geographical location.  By thinking about these things, you can start to have some ideas about who it might have as allies and what its attitudes might be.

The most important aspect of Australia’s history in this regard is that it began as part of the British Empire and is still closely tied to the United Kingdom.  Australia is, therefore, an English-speaking country.  It also fought on the side of the UK (and the United States) in the two major world wars of the last century.   What this means is that Australia is very likely to side with the United States and the UK on issues of WMD in particular.  Australia has a close defense relationship with each of these countries and is not likely to oppose them in something as important as this.

With regard to development, the issue is a little less clear.  This is partly because I am not sure I fully understand the question.  After all, no country is opposed to development so Australia is less likely to have allies and opposition on this matter. However, if asked to answer this, I would start to think about where Australia is.  It is a rich country that is relatively near to a variety of poorer countries.  This influences its vision about development.  For example, Australia would very much like to cut down on the number of refugees from Asia who reach its shores.  Therefore, it is interested in promoting economic development in its neighbors.  It is also interested in this because its companies have invested in some of these countries.

Thus, I would start to look at this question by thinking about Australia’s alliances through the lens of its history and about its attitudes on development through the lens of its geographical location.

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