03/10/2002
Press Release
GA/10070



Fifty-seventh General Assembly

Plenary

21st Meeting (AM)


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ELECTS EIGHTEEN COUNTRIES TO FILL VACANCIES


ON ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL


The General Assembly this morning elected 18 countries to fill vacancies on the Economic and Social Council.  Those elected were:  Azerbaijan, Benin, Republic of Congo, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Portugal, Saudi Arabia and Senegal.


Five seats had to be filled from among the group of African States, three from Asian States, one from Eastern European States, four from Latin America and the Caribbean, and five from Western European and Other States.


Also this morning, the General Assembly decided to appoint a qualified candidate from Trinidad and Tobago to the Joint Inspection Unit for a five-year term beginning on 1 January 2004.  The Assembly acted on information received from the Chairman of the group of Latin American and Caribbean States in making this appointment.


In other matters, the Assembly was informed that Vanuatu had made necessary payments to reduce its arrears below the amount specified in Article 19 of the Charter.


Article 19 states that a member of the United Nations which is in arrears in the payment of its financial contributions to the Organization shall have no vote in the General Assembly if the amount of its arrears equals or exceeds the amount of the contributions due from it for the preceding two full years.


The Assembly will meet next on Friday 4 October for a joint debate on the outcome of the Millennium Summit and to take up the report of the Secretary-General on the work of the United Nations.


Background


The General Assembly met this morning to appoint a candidate to the Joint Inspection Unit and to elect 18 members to the Economic and Social Council.


Appointment of Member of Joint Inspection Unit


Concerning the appointment of a member of the Joint Inspection Unit, the Assembly had before it a note from the Secretary-General on the appointment of members to the Joint Inspection Unit (A/57/107).

Since the term of office of Mr Armando Duque Gonzalez (Colombia) would expire on 31 December 2003, it was necessary for the General Assembly to appoint one person to fill the upcoming vacancy.  The person so appointed will serve for a period of five years, beginning on 1 January 2004.


Election of 18 Members of Economic and Social Council


The 18 members of the Economic and Social Council had to be elected to fill seats being vacated by Angola, Austria, Bahrain, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Fiji, France, Germany, Japan, Malta, Mexico, Spain, Sudan, and Suriname on 31 December 2002.  A retiring member is eligible for immediate re-election.  The elected members will serve a term of three years.


The non-retiring members of the Council are Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bhutan, Brazil, Burundi, Chile, China, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Iran, Italy, Libya, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, South Africa, Sweden, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States and Zimbabwe.


In accordance with rule 92 of the Assembly’s rules of procedure, the election is held by secret ballot and there are no nominations.  Under rule

83, the members of the Economic and Social Council are elected by a two-thirds majority.  By resolution 2847 (XXVI), the 54 members of the Council should include 14 members from African States, 11 from Asian States, 10 from Latin American and Caribbean States, 13 from Western European and Other States and six from Eastern European States.


The Economic and Social Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and coordinates the economic, social and related work of the organization and the specialized agencies and institutions.  Through its discussion of international economic and social issues, and its policy recommendations, the Council plays a key role in fostering international cooperation for development and in setting priorities for action.


Election to Economic and Social Council


Before proceeding to the election to fill vacancies on the Economic and Social Council, the President informed the Assembly that, according to paragraph

4 of Assembly resolution 2847 (20 December 1971), five members should be elected from the Group of African States, three from Asian States, one from Eastern European States, four from Latin American and Caribbean States and five from Western European and Other States.


The Group of African States had endorsed Benin, Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mozambique and Senegal.


For the three vacant seats from among the Group of Asian States there were five candidates –- Japan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mongolia and Saudi Arabia.


The Group of Eastern European States had endorsed Azerbaijan.


The Group of Latin American and Caribbean States had endorsed Cuba, Ecuador, Jamaica and Nicaragua.

The Group of Western European and Other States had endorsed France, Germany, Greece, Ireland and Portugal.


The results of the first round of secret balloting were as follows:


African States


Number of ballots                               182

Number of invalid ballots                         1

Number of valid ballots                         181

Number of abstentions                             3

Number of Member States voting                  178

Majority required                               119

Number of votes obtained


Senegal                                         176

Mozambique                                      171

Benin                                           169

Republic of Congo                                     163

Kenya                                                 160

Angola                                                  4

Democratic Republic of the Congo                        3

Burkina Faso                                            1

Cameroon                                                1

Sudan                                                   1

Tunisia                                                 1


Asian States


Number of ballots                               182

Number of invalid ballots                         0

Number of valid ballots                         182

Number of abstentions                             1

Number of Member States voting                  181

Majority required                               121

Number of votes obtained


Saudi Arabia                                    140

Japan                                                 133

Malaysia                                              123

Mongolia                                              64

Lebanon                                               61

Bahrain                                                 1

Fiji                                                    1

Jordan                                                  1

Turkmenistan                                            1

United Arab Emirates                                    1


Eastern European States


Number of ballots                               182

Number of invalid ballots                         3

Number of valid ballots                         179

Number of abstentions                             2

Number of Member States voting                  177

Majority required                               118

Number of votes obtained


Azerbaijan                                      177


Latin American and Caribbean States


Number of ballots                               182

Number of invalid ballots                         1

Number of valid ballots                         181

Number of abstentions                             0

Number of Member States voting                  181

Majority required                               121

Number of votes obtained


Jamaica                                         178

Ecuador                                         174

Cuba                                                  170

Nicaragua                                       159

Suriname                                                2

Costa Rica                                              1

Mexico                                                  1

Venezuela                                               1


Western European and Other States


Number of ballots                               182

Number of invalid ballots                         1

Number of valid ballots                         181

Number of abstentions                             1

Number of Member States voting                  180

Majority required                               120

Number of votes obtained     


Germany                                         179

Greece                                          177

France                                                173  

Ireland                                               164

Portugal                                        163

Spain                                                   1


Having obtained the required two-thirds majority, the following were elected:  Azerbaijan, Benin, Republic of Congo, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Portugal, Saudi Arabia and Senegal.


* *** *