Final seat on Security Council remains undecided after latest day of voting

25 October 2006

The United Nations General Assembly today remained deadlocked after a fourth day of voting in the contest to fill a non-permanent seat on the Security Council for the Latin American and Caribbean region, with Guatemala maintaining its lead over Venezuela but falling short of the necessary two-thirds majority.

Including the six rounds today, the Assembly has now voted 41 times since 16 October to choose a candidate to serve as the region’s non-permanent Council member for a two-year term starting 1 January 2007, and replacing Argentina. Balloting will now resume next Tuesday, 31 October.

In the 41st round, when 123 votes would have been enough to secure victory, Guatemala obtained 100 votes, Venezuela received 82, the Dominican Republic received one and Chile received one. There were six abstentions. Guatemala has led in every round so far, with the exception of the sixth round on the first day of voting, when the two countries were tied.

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.

On 16 October 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 when voting, are China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States.


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