New Term Nonpermanent Seats on the UNSC
Japan, Austria, Turkey, Uganda, and Mexico will replace Indonesia, Belgium, Italy, South Africa, and Panama in the two year terms for nonpermanent seats on the United Nations Security Council beginning on January 1 of next year:
UNITED NATIONS — Japan easily drubbed Iran in the election on Friday for a two-year seat on the Security Council, while the recent financial meltdown in Iceland appeared to have contributed to its loss against Austria and Turkey in the heavily fought contest for two seats reserved for a group of mostly European countries.
Some Council members portrayed the lopsided vote against Iran, with Japan garnering 158 votes to Iran’s 32, as an international referendum critical of the country’s confrontational stance over its nuclear program.
Having Iran hold a seat on the Security Council would have been unseemly to say the least given that its nuclear development program is likely to be one of the topics to be considered by the UNSC during this term.
Besides, Japan’s is the largest economy of any country not holding a permanent seat on the UNSC and it’s one of the UN’s most significant financial supporters. Still, it’s a setback for Iran:
“The reality is that nobody expected Iran to prevail against Japan even if there was no nuclear problem,” said Colin Keating, a former New Zealand ambassador and now the head of Security Council Report, a nonprofit organization that tracks the body. He suggested that 32 votes meant that Iran does have a few committed friends.