UN Charter Anniversary

24 October 2020

On the 75th anniversary of the ratification of the United Nations Charter, Labor restates its commitment to a vital and effective UN, and calls on the Morrison Government to make support for multilateralism a bipartisan principle.

In the wake of the most catastrophic conflict in human history - which was preceded by one of the worst economic collapses in human history - the community of nations decided to forge a better world.

One of Labor’s greatest icons, Herb “Doc” Evatt, was central to the crafting of the UN Charter, helping ensure it reflected the needs and concerns of small and medium-sized countries.

Evatt recognised that Australia relies heavily on international cooperation.

Multilateralism doesn’t diminish our sovereignty, it enhances it. As Gough Whitlam told the UN General Assembly in 1974:

True national independence depends upon international inter-dependence.

The nationalism and isolationism that preceded the foundation of the UN proved that beyond doubt.

In contrast, the rules-based order that began with the UN Charter enabled a period of stability and prosperity arguably unprecedented in human history.

Now, as the world faces its biggest challenges since World War Two, Australia’s interests lie in improving international institutions, and maximising our influence within them.

We have no time for ‘negative globalism’ – a cheap political slogan with dangerous implications.

Since John Curtin’s turn to America in World War Two, the US Alliance has enjoyed bipartisan support.

We call on the Morrison Government to offer similar bipartisan support to the United Nations and the liberal rules-based order.


Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.