Benefits for NZ expected via Australian seat at UN

New Zealand is expected to gain enhanced influence from Australia's seat on the United Nations Security Council, which took effect on 1 January.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said that having New Zealand's closest friend and neighbour on the Security Council will give this country's voice greater impact and promote common views on issues like Timor and Solomon Islands.

Traditionally, blocs of nations such as those in Africa combine their voting power to ensure one of their number is a member at all times.

Mr McCully said New Zealand lobbied hard to help get Australia onto the council and is expecting the same in return in 2015.

Australia joins nine other countries for two-year terms.

The five permanent members are Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

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