21 October 2011 Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo will serve as non-permanent members of the 15-member Security Council in 2012-13 after winning their seats during elections held earlier today at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
But a fifth vacant seat, which is allocated to an Eastern European country, remains unfilled after no country passed the necessary threshold during nine rounds of voting.
UN Member States voted in the General Assembly by secret ballot for five non-permanent seats divided by geographical grouping – three from Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, one from Eastern Europe, and one from Latin America and the Caribbean.
To win election, a country must receive a two-thirds majority of those countries present and voting, regardless of whether or not they are the only candidate in their region. Voting continues until the threshold is reached for the required number of seats.
Guatemala received 191 votes and was duly elected to the Latin America and Caribbean seat, Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser announced after the conclusion of the first round of voting this morning.
Morocco received 151 votes and Pakistan received 129 votes in the first round, which means they were elected to two of the three seats allocated to Africa and the Asia-Pacific. Morocco has served twice previously on the Council – in 1963-64 and again in 1992-93. Pakistan has served on six previous occasions, most recently in 2003-04.
Togo (119 votes), Mauritania (98), Kyrgyzstan (55) and Fiji (one) did not receive enough votes in the first round, and during a second, restricted round of voting Togo again received 119 votes while Mauritania obtained 72.
But in a third round of voting, Togo obtained 131 votes, above the two-thirds threshold, and was therefore elected. Mauritania received 61 votes. It will be the second time in its history that Togo has served on the Security Council, with the first stint taking place in 1982-83.
In the Eastern European category, after nine rounds of voting, no country had met the two-thirds majority threshold. Voting will resume on Monday. In the ninth round of balloting, Azerbaijan obtained 113 votes and Slovenia received 77 votes.
Today’s elections were held to replace the departing members of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Gabon, Lebanon and Nigeria.
The new members will join Colombia, Germany, India, Portugal and South Africa, whose terms end on 31 December 2012, and the five permanent Council members, which each wield the power of veto – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
News Tracker: past stories on this issue