Federal Politics

Tony Abbott hails UN backing for MH17 resolution

The Abbott government's push for a full independent investigation into the downing of MH17 over Ukraine has been backed by a unanimous vote UN Security Council, increasing pressure on Russia to facilitate access to the crash site.

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MH17: UN votes to support Australia's resolution

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop addresses the UN Security Council, which voted unanimously to support Australia's resolution demanding full access for investigators at the Malaysia Airlines crash site in eastern Ukraine.

In a joint statement with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop released on Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Tony Abbott hailed the result saying that the resolution lent the Security Council's ''full weight'' in condemning the attack.

Overnight on Tuesday, the Security Council adopted an Australian-sponsored resolution that calls on the separatists to ensure that the bodies of the 298 victims are treated with ''the utmost dignity,'' underlined the need for a ''full, thorough and independent international investigation'' and demanded ''all military activities in the area cease'' to allow investigators to access the site.

The Abbott government's statement also said that Australia would continue to do ''everything in its power to ensure this barbaric act is thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators are brought to justice''.

Earlier, Ms Bishop, who is at the UN headquarters in New York, said it was ''despicable'' that investigators were not getting access to the crash site.

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''Grief is now accompanied by outrage as we witness grotesque violations at the crash site,'' Ms Bishop said.

''This demands a response.''

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop with Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans following the UN Security Resolution on MH17.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop with Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans following the UN Security Resolution on MH17. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

She also told the Council that its message to those responsible for the MH17 deaths was ''definitive''.

''You will be held to account for your actions. They were all innocent people.''

Mr Abbott will chair a cabinet and national security committee meetings in Canberra again on Tuesday.

He will later sign a condolence book at Parliament House, together with representatives of the diplomatic community.

Overnight, Mr Abbott's envoy to Ukraine to respond to the disaster, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, met Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Labor leader Bill Shorten is also in the United States for meetings.

He said he was very pleased that the Security Council had passed the resolution.

''It is now time for the leader of the Russian Federation, Mr Putin, to now show the rest of the world that he'll now act on this resolution,'' Mr Shorten told Sky News.

''I think this has dragged on for too long.''

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