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Tony Abbott hails UN backing for MH17 resolution

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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.

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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.

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.

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

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.

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

''This demands a response.''

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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118 comments

  • Abbott and Julie Bishop have shown real back bone and steadfast leadership in dealing with this tragedy. The handling of these events as well as the securing of important free trade agreements since the last election makes a mockery of Kevin Rudd's accusations made at Tony Abbott about being a foreign policy risk.

    Commenter
    Sydneysider
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    July 22, 2014, 9:57AM
    • Well done TA and JB, but, weren't they the ones saying Rudd's push for the seat on the Security Council was a waste of time and money. This shows the value of Australia being a world player.

      Commenter
      Chris
      Location
      Manly
      Date and time
      July 22, 2014, 10:05AM
    • Securing this UN Security Council resolution is one of Australia's greatest ever foreign relations triumphs.

      It's interesting that it's top story on most news outlets, except one former broadsheet has it buried half way down the page, preferring to give top billing to stories such as "highest earning actor revealed" and "Packer gives away $200m".

      In less than 12 months Abbott has established himself as one of Australia's most accomplished PMs in foreign relations.

      Commenter
      Gatsby
      Date and time
      July 22, 2014, 10:14AM
    • Good point Chris. Was wondering too how important that position is now after being criticised when Rudd lobbied for it, and by the very people currently using it. Also hope this tragedy gives Australians the capacity to understand more the horrific experiences of those innocents living in war zones, people who are not only losing loved ones but trying to cope with everyday brutality forced upon them by political criminals.

      Commenter
      LJanes
      Date and time
      July 22, 2014, 10:24AM
    • @Chris....Kevin Rudd's intention with the security council gig wasn't simply about having a voice it was his way of getting his foot in the door so he could position himself as UN secretary general when Ban Ki Moon retires in 2017. Rudd's motivation is always about hogging the limelight just as we saw when he continued to undermine the Gillard government and then wrestle back the top job from her in 2013. Rudd is always only about himself. Being on the security council is one thing...being able to effectively negotiate and achieve a just outcome is another.

      Commenter
      Sydneysider
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      July 22, 2014, 10:26AM
    • Really? I thought the evidence-free accusations of Russia were poor, cringeworthy and highly inflammatory. Yes it is likely that they are at fault, but there's no need to come out swinging the day after the tragedy and before any investigation. In doing so, Abbott has managed to frustrate Russia and China - I guess you now can add these two countries to the list that most likely perceive Australia negatively (i.e. Indonesia, East Timor, most of the Middle East, most Pacific Island nations, the UN in general, etc.)

      Commenter
      Erik
      Date and time
      July 22, 2014, 11:17AM
    • Yes, the same man who in opposition decried the seat on the UN as a waste of time and money and promised to scrap it. They both seem to be enjoying their new found status on the world stage don't they. I look forward to Abbott fulfilling another one of his election promises pledged in blood.

      Commenter
      Mrsydney
      Date and time
      July 22, 2014, 11:19AM
    • Real backbone. Might I remind you that they have a profile because of the Security Council seat fought for and won by Labor and opposed by the Coalition as a complete waste of time and money. They have made hypocrisy an art form. Australia has a profile because of Labor's diplomacy. That's a fact. The Libs fought as hard as they could against the security council seat and don't have a track record in supporting the UN.

      Commenter
      Labor's Diplomacy
      Date and time
      July 22, 2014, 11:20AM
    • @Chris @LJanes Any country can still participate without a vote in the Security Councils discussions when the Council considers that that country's interests are affected, in this case "Australian-sponsored resolution". so regardless if Australia was a non-Permanente member or not, we still get a voice so both your analogy that we needed to be part of the security council to be heard are completely wrong.

      Commenter
      Abloke
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      July 22, 2014, 11:34AM
    • @ Erik - Are you serious?????
      The one things the "tough guys" of world leadership is strong decisive leadership in a tough time. Somewhat surprisingly to me TA (and JB) have delivered while much of the world has cowered in case they upset Putin.
      As someone who works a large part of my life in East Asia I can advise you measured straight talking is respected much more than appeasement. There were early stuff-ups with Indonesia re the phone taps scandal (under the ALP's watch BTW) but, long term, it will always win out. That was why they liked JH's style.
      Rudd's approach was to tell them how to suck eggs, in Mandarin. They hated him for it.
      -Finally, for all the crying lefties wanting credit to the ALP for pursuing a seat on the Security Council, it has turned out handy in this case at least. You have to admit that our current leaders have made good use of it don't you?

      Commenter
      Wennicks
      Date and time
      July 22, 2014, 11:46AM

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