Press Conference on Upcoming Elections in General Assembly

19 October 2011

Press Conference on Upcoming Elections in General Assembly

19 October 2011
Press Conference
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Press Conference on Upcoming Elections in General Assembly


Ion Botnaru, Director of the General Assembly and Economic and Social Council Affairs Division, announced during a Headquarters news conference this afternoon the names of the nine countries vying for the soon-to-be-vacant five non-permanent seats on the Security Council.

He also announced the names of candidates for upcoming elections to fill seats on the Economic and Social Council and the International Court of Justice.

On Friday, the General Assembly was set to elect three candidates from Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, one from Eastern Europe and one from Latin America and the Caribbean to the Security Council for two-year terms, to replace the five non-permanent Council members whose two-year terms expire 31 December 2011, which were Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Gabon, Lebanon and Nigeria, Mr. Botnaru said.

The candidates included Kyrgyzstan, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo (from the African and Asia-Pacific States); Azerbaijan, Hungary and Slovenia (from the Eastern European States); and Guatemala (from the Latin American and Caribbean States), he said.  All except Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan and Guatemala had previously served on the Council.  To win, each candidate needed to garner support from two thirds of those present and voting in the Assembly.  According to Article 23 of the Charter, outgoing non-permanent Council members could not be re-elected immediately, he said.

He went on to say that on 24 October, the Assembly would meet to elect 18 members to the Economic and Social Council for three-year terms to replace members whose terms expired at year’s end.  The endorsed candidates were Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Libya and Nigeria (from the African States); India, Indonesia and Japan (from the Asia-Pacific States); Belarus (from the Eastern European States); Brazil, Cuba, Dominican Republic and El Salvador (from the Latin American and Caribbean States); and France, Germany, Ireland, Spain and Turkey (from the Western European and Other States).  In addition, Bulgaria would be named to replace Hungary, whose two-year term was set to expire 31 December 2013.

To gain a seat, each candidate would need a two-thirds majority vote in the Assembly, he said.  According to Article 61 of the Charter, Council members could be re-elected for a successive term.

Lastly, he announced that on 10 November, the Assembly would move to elect five judges to the International Court of Justice for nine-year terms to replace those whose terms were set to expire 5 February 2012.  The eight candidates competing for those five slots were Giorgio Gaja ( Italy), Tsvetana Kamenova ( Bulgaria), Abdul Koroma ( Sierra Leone), Hasashi Owada ( Japan), Julia Sebutinde ( Uganda), El Hadji Mansour Tall ( Senegal), Peter Tomka ( Slovakia) and Hanqin Xue ( China).  To win, each needed an absolute majority of votes in the Assembly and in the Security Council.

Responding to a reporter’s query about the African Union’s endorsement of Togo and Mauritania as non-permanent Security Council members and the lack of endorsement of a West African country, Mr. Botnaru said that while endorsements impacted Member States’ behaviour and were important, candidates still needed a two-thirds majority — and thus endorsements from other regional groups — to win.

Asked if the Assembly would on 10 November fill the seat on the International Court of Justice of the Jordanian judge slated to become Jordan’s next Prime Minister, Mr. Botnaru said that judge’s term was set to expire on 5 February 2018.  But, as the process for replacing judges on the world Court was cumbersome and lengthy, the Assembly would not fill that seat until January or February.

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