VENEZUELA TRAILS GUATEMALA IN QUEST FOR TWO-YEAR SEAT ON SECURITY COUNCIL; RESULTS INCONCLUSIVE, AS GENERAL ASSEMBLY COMPLETES 22 SECRET BALLOTS

GA/10517
17 October 2006

VENEZUELA TRAILS GUATEMALA IN QUEST FOR TWO-YEAR SEAT ON SECURITY COUNCIL; RESULTS INCONCLUSIVE, AS GENERAL ASSEMBLY COMPLETES 22 SECRET BALLOTS

17 October 2006
General Assembly
GA/10517
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-first General Assembly

Plenary

34th & 35th Meetings (AM & PM)


VENEZUELA TRAILS GUATEMALA IN QUEST FOR TWO-YEAR SEAT ON SECURITY COUNCIL;

 

RESULTS INCONCLUSIVE, AS GENERAL ASSEMBLY COMPLETES 22 SECRET BALLOTS


Voting Resumes 19 October to Fill Latin American and Caribbean Seat;

Four Non-Permanent Members, Elected Yesterday, to Begin Terms on 1 January


After two days and 22 inconclusive secret ballots, Guatemala held onto its lead over Venezuela for Latin America’s non-permanent seat on the Security Council, but still fell short of the votes required for a victory, when the 192-Member General Assembly wrapped up another six hours of voting this evening.


Guatemala, which ended the day with 102 votes to Venezuela’s 77, failed to obtain the necessary 120 votes –- two thirds of those voting -- to gain the seat, so the contest would move into a third day tomorrow.  The two countries were vying to fill the seat allocated to the Latin American and Caribbean States, now occupied by Argentina, one of the five non-permanent Council members finishing its two-year term on 31 December.


Despite the see-sawing tally, both countries had ended up about where they were when the Assembly recessed Monday evening.  Although Guatemala had led Venezuela throughout, at one point on Monday, the countries were tied at 93 votes apiece.  When Venezuela drew even, the Assembly chamber erupted in applause, but the final ballot of the day put Guatemala ahead again with 110 votes to Venezuela’s 77.


According to the Assembly’s rules of procedure, if no winner emerges after three ballots restricted to the leading regional candidates, the election is open to all regional Member States for the next three rounds, except outgoing members of the Council and those already holding seats in the Council.  Mexico and Cuba entered the race on the first unrestricted ballot Monday, each garnering a single vote before pulling out.  No other Latin American country entered the race today.


In other results from Monday’s ballot, uncontested candidate South Africa was named to replace the seat to be vacated by the United Republic of Tanzania at the end of the year, and endorsed candidates Belgium and Italy would replace outgoing Western European non-permanent members Denmark and Greece.  Indonesia finished ahead of Nepal and would take the seat now occupied by Japan.


The Security Council consists of five veto-wielding permanent members -– China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States -– plus 10 nations elected for two-year terms, with five replaced each year.  With the Council’s current composition, the Congo, Ghana, Peru, Qatar and Slovakia will continue to serve as elected members during 2007, for the second year of their terms.  All new Council members will take their seats on 1 January 2007.

New members are 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.


The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. Thursday, 19 October, to continue the balloting for a non-permanent seat of the Security Council for the Latin American and Caribbean region.


Background


The General Assembly met today to elect one non-permanent member of the Security Council from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, for two-year terms, beginning on 1 January 2007.  The Assembly yesterday held 10 rounds of secret ballots, each of them inconclusive.


According to the rules of procedure, if the voting is inconclusive after three rounds of balloting restricted to the candidates (from the agreed geographic allocation) obtaining the greatest number of votes in the previous ballot, in this case, Guatemala and Venezuela, the election is then open to all Member States from that region (except outgoing members of the Security Council and those already holding seats on the Council), and is unrestricted.  Balloting continues in this way until a State achieves the required two-thirds majority.


Voting Results


The results of the balloting were as follows:


Eleventh Round of Voting

Latin American and Caribbean States

Number of ballot papers:

191

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Number of valid ballots:

191

Abstentions:

8

Required majority:

122


Number of votes obtained:

Guatemala:

107

Venezuela:

76


With no country from Latin America having received the required majority, the Assembly held a twelfth ballot.


Twelfth Round of Voting

Latin American and Caribbean States

Number of ballot papers:

192

Number of invalid ballots:

1

Number of valid ballots:

191

Abstentions:

7

Required majority:

123


Number of votes obtained:

Guatemala:

107

Venezuela:

77


With no country from Latin America having received the required majority, the Assembly held a thirteenth ballot.


Thirteenth Round of Voting

Latin American and Caribbean States

Number of ballot papers:

192

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Number of valid ballots:

192

Abstentions:

5

Required majority:

125


Number of votes obtained:

Guatemala:

112

Venezuela:

75


With no country from Latin America having received the required majority, the Assembly held a fourteenth ballot.


Fourteenth Round of Voting

Latin American and Caribbean States

Number of ballot papers:

191

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Number of valid ballots:

191

Abstentions:

7

Required majority:

123


Number of votes obtained:

Guatemala:

108

Venezuela:

76


With no country from Latin America having received the required majority, the Assembly held a fifteenth ballot.


Fifteenth Round of Voting

Latin American and Caribbean States

Number of ballot papers:

192

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Number of valid ballots:

192

Abstentions:

7

Required majority:

124


Number of votes obtained:

Guatemala:

107

Venezuela:

78


With no country from Latin America having received the required majority, the Assembly held sixteenth ballot.


Sixteenth Round of Voting

Latin American and Caribbean States

Number of ballot papers:

192

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Number of valid ballots:

192

Abstentions:

8

Required majority:

123


Number of votes obtained:

Guatemala:

108

Venezuela:

76


With neither country having received the required majority, the Assembly moved into a seventeenth round of voting this afternoon.


Seventeenth Round of Voting (unrestricted)

Latin American and Caribbean States

Number of ballot papers:

190

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Number of valid ballots:

190

Abstentions:

8

Required majority:

122


Number of votes obtained:

Guatemala:

104

Venezuela:

78


With neither country having received the required majority, the Assembly held an eighteenth ballot.


Eighteenth Round of Voting (unrestricted)

Latin American and Caribbean States

Number of ballot papers:

191

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Number of valid ballots:

191

Abstentions:

6

Required majority:

124


Number of votes obtained:

Guatemala:

100

Venezuela:

85


With neither country having received the required majority, the Assembly held a nineteenth ballot.


Nineteenth Round of Voting (unrestricted)

Latin American and Caribbean States

Number of ballot papers:

192

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Number of valid ballots:

192

Abstentions:

6

Required majority:

124


Number of votes obtained:

Guatemala:

107

Venezuela:

79


With neither country having received the required majority, the Assembly held a twentieth ballot.


Twentieth Round of Voting (restricted)

Latin American and Caribbean States

Number of ballot papers:

192

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Number of valid ballots:

192

Abstentions:

9

Required majority:

122


Number of votes obtained:

Guatemala:

102

Venezuela:

81


With neither country having received the required majority, the Assembly held a twenty-first ballot.


Twenty-First Round of Voting (restricted)

Latin American and Caribbean States

Number of ballot papers:

192

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Number of valid ballots:

192

Abstentions:

12

Required majority:

120


Number of votes obtained:

Guatemala:

101

Venezuela:

79


With neither country having received the required majority, the Assembly held a twenty-second ballot.


Twenty-Second Round of Voting (restricted)

Latin American and Caribbean States

Number of ballot papers:

191

Number of invalid ballots:

0

Number of valid ballots:

191

Abstentions:

12

Required majority:

120


Number of votes obtained:

Guatemala:

102

Venezuela:

77


* *** *

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.