Four Security Council members elected but one seat still up for grabs

Security Council

16 October 2006 – The United Nations General Assembly today elected Belgium, Indonesia, Italy and South Africa to serve as non-permanent members of the Security Council for two-year terms starting 1 January 2007.

A fifth non-permanent seat, to be awarded to a member of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, remains in contention after neither Guatemala nor Venezuela obtained the needed two-thirds majority during 10 rounds of voting today.

The four new members will take the seats currently occupied by Denmark, Greece, Japan and Tanzania when their terms on the Council end on 31 December.

The members were elected according to an agreed geographic allocation, which awards two seats to African and Asian countries, two to Western European and Other States, and one to Latin America and the Caribbean during this year’s round of elections.

Council elections are held by secret ballot, and a winning candidate requires a two-thirds majority of ballots of members present and voting. Formal balloting takes place even in those regions where there is only one candidate per available seat.

Belgium and Italy were the only contenders in the Western European and Other States category, and they received 180 and 186 votes respectively in the first round, ensuring their election. South Africa, the only candidate in the African group, was elected after picking up 186 votes. In Asia, where there were two contenders, Indonesia received 158 votes – guaranteeing its election – while Nepal received 28 and was eliminated.

In the tenth round of voting for Latin America and the Caribbean, where 125 votes were needed to win, Guatemala received 110 and Venezuela picked up 77. There were four abstentions.

Balloting will continue until a State from the region achieves the required majority. The winner will replace Argentina, whose term expires on 31 December.

The Council’s five other non-permanent members, whose terms on 31 December 2007, are Congo, Ghana, Peru, Qatar and Slovakia. The five permanent members are China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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