Security Council seat still undecided after second day of voting

17 October 2006
Casting vote to elect new Security Council members

A non-permanent seat on the Security Council remains up for grabs after the United Nations General Assembly held a second day of voting today in the contest to fill the place allocated to the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States.

After 12 additional rounds of voting today, which takes the total number of rounds so far to 22, neither Guatemala nor Venezuela had obtained a two-thirds majority of ballots of members present and voting. Balloting will now resume on Thursday morning.

The two countries are contending to serve as a non-permanent Council member for a two-year term starting 1 January 2007, replacing Argentina.

In the 22nd round today, when 120 votes would have been enough to secure victory, Guatemala received 102 votes and Venezuela 77. There were 12 abstentions.

Balloting will continue until a State from the region achieves the required majority. There is no limit to the number of rounds of voting and in 1979-80 there were a record 155 ballots before Mexico was chosen from the Latin American and Caribbean Group to serve a two-year term.

Yesterday Assembly members, following an agreed geographic allocation, elected Belgium, Indonesia, Italy and South Africa to serve as non-permanent members starting 1 January next year. They will replace Denmark, Greece, Japan and Tanzania when their terms end on 31 December.

The Council’s five other non-permanent members, whose terms end on 31 December 2007, are Congo, Ghana, Peru, Qatar and Slovakia. The five permanent members, which are the only members with veto power in votes, are China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States.


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