Australia’s government says it is “not surprised” by the vote

Live updates: UN General Assembly debate on climate change


The United Nations General Assembly has passed a resolution rejecting a claim that climate change is a “common danger” to humankind.

The resolution passed by the 193-member body was a compromise reached late on Tuesday.

In late 2008, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon rejected a similar draft resolution from Australia, which was drafted by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Foreign Minister Stephen Smith.

The Australian government then announced it would withdraw from the UN.

Mr Smith said that the UN would “never again accept these kinds of resolutions.”

Ms Gillard acknowledged that the Australian government had “let me down.”

“On behalf of her country, I acknowledge there was an underlying concern, because these resolutions carry serious implications for us,” she said.

Her government said that “unfortunately, the text was not strong enough to make our case”.

‘The world is angry and frustrated’

The resolution passed was a compromise that was not fully finalised when the US Congress, under Democratic leader Barack Obama, voted last week to kill the US contribution to the climate change negotiations.

The United States and China have been lobbying against the treaty, which would set up a global agreement to fight climate change that would run for as long as two decades.

Mr Obama said he was “disturbed” by the vote.

“The world is angry and frustrated with the way that our politics are being shaped around a narrow and extreme partisan ideological agenda that only serves to increase the gap between the rich and the poor,” he said.

He added: “It is this agenda that is at the root of the dysfunction that is currently afflicting our country and threatening our global leadership, not this deal.”

Ms Gillard said she was “not surprised” by the vote.

“The United States has been dragging its feet for many years on this important issue, and as a consequence the world has become increasingly frustrated,” she said.

“The United States has also been seeking to use its influence in the UN to block meaningful action on climate change.”

She added: “This resolution will not have a future if the United States continues to undermine the climate change process.”

In the final vote on Tuesday Mr Smith said he was

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