Twenty-one new members join UN Economic and Social Council

ECOSOC in session. UN Photo/Jenny Rockett

24 October 2011 – Twenty-one countries were today elected to serve on the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and the main body tasked with furthering economic and social cooperation and development worldwide.

In the General Assembly this morning, UN Member States elected 18 countries to serve three-year terms starting next year and three other nations through by-elections held as some countries were stepping down from the 54-member Council before the formal end of their terms.

To join the Council, each country had to receive a two-thirds majority of Member States present and voting, regardless of whether or not they were the only candidate for a particular seat, which are allocated according to a geographical formula.

Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Nigeria and Libya were elected to the five African vacancies, while Indonesia, India and Japan won the three seats allotted to Asia-Pacific States. Belarus claimed the only Eastern European vacancy.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Brazil and Cuba were victorious, while Spain, France, Germany, Ireland and Turkey were successful in the Western European and other States category.

In the three by-elections, Switzerland replaced the outgoing Norway, the Netherlands succeeded Belgium, and Bulgaria took over from Hungary.


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