An Australia-sponsored resolution restricting small arms and weapons around the world has passed at the United Nations during a Security Council session being helmed by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

The vote to restrict the illicit trade and use of small arms was passed with 14 votes for, none against and one abstaining voice - Russia's.

Australia is half way through a two-year stint as a non-permanent member of the council.

Ms Bishop's visit to the UN in New York coincides with Australia's stint in the chair at the council, which is assigned on a revolving basis.

It is the first time since 1985-86 that Australia has presided over the council.