26 October 2009 The General Assembly today elected 22 countries to serve on the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), one of the principal organs of the United Nations and the body responsible for coordinating the economic, social and related work of various UN specialized agencies, regional commissions and functional commissions.
During a secret ballot this morning at UN Headquarters in New York, Member States elected 18 countries to serve three-year terms starting on 1 January next year and four nations to replace New Zealand, Sweden, Greece and Portugal, which asked to relinquish their seats before the end of their current terms.
The four countries proposed as replacements were Australia, Finland, Malta and Turkey, and they were duly elected today after obtaining the necessary two-thirds majority of countries present and voting.
Australia and Finland will serve on ECOSOC from the start of next year until the end of 2010, while Malta and Turkey will serve through the end of 2011.
ECOSOC’s 54-strong membership is chosen according to a formula to ensure geographical distribution, and the remaining 18 countries elected today were allocated thus: five seats for African States, four to Asian States, two for the Eastern European category, three for Latin America and the Caribbean, and four seats for the category of Western European and other States.
In each of the five geographical categories, the number of endorsed candidates did not exceed the number of available seats.
Ghana, Comoros, Zambia, Rwanda and Egypt were chosen for the African category, while Bangladesh, Mongolia, the Philippines and Iraq were selected in Asia. Ukraine and Slovakia won the two seats allocated to Eastern Europe.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, Chile, the Bahamas and Argentina were each elected, while in the Western European and other States grouping, the countries selected were Italy, Belgium, Canada and the United States.
ECOSOC’s membership includes 16 other countries whose terms expire at the end of next year: Brazil, Cameroon, China, the Republic of Congo, Malaysia, Moldova, Mozambique, Niger, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Russia, Saint Lucia, the United Kingdom and Uruguay.
Another 16 countries will end their terms on 31 December 2011: Côte d’Ivoire, Estonia, France, Germany, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, India, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
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