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Bishop secures pledges for vacant UN Human Rights Council seat

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Australia is up against two significant European countries, France and Spain, for the vacant UN Human Rights Council seat

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is upbeat about Australia's chances of winning a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Australia officially launches its campaign with an event at the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday (Friday AEST) and Ms Bishop said she had secured "many, many" pledges from nations.

"I believe we have been doing a very good job in winning support," Ms Bishop told reporters.

"We have had many, many pledges.

"I have had meetings today with a significant number of permanent members who pledged their support, but of course the competition is very tough."

The open seat is for 2018 to 2020.

Ms Bishop noted Australia is up against two significant European countries, France and Spain.

The foreign minister's day of meetings in New York included a sit down with US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley.

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