Foreign Minister Bob Carr says he's confident Australia's seat on the UN Security Council will help push through a global arms trade treaty.
Speaking after giving the British High Commission's annual Magna Carta lecture in Sydney, Senator Carr said a push for the arms treaty at the UN would "come to a head next month".
"On the back of our credibility built up over the decades on cluster munitions I think that (an arms trade treaty) will be a discerning note in our contribution," Senator Carr told the audience of around 150 people on Friday night.
The proposed UN treaty would impose new controls on illicit cross-border dealings in weapons such as automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and ammunition.
It is aimed at improving the efficiency of UN sanctions by reducing the flow of conventional weapons to terrorists.
Senator Carr said that since being elected to the Security Council Australia had brought to the role its experience in peacekeeping in the Pacific region, especially in Bougainville and East Timor.
He also said he was also working hard at the UN towards achieving nuclear non-proliferation by using the federal government's "credibility" on the issue.
However, he would not be drawn when asked if the government was failing to comply with the aspirations of the Magna Carta, given its policy on asylum seekers.
"I think that's a question best addressed to our attorney general," Senator Carr said.