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.

FILED UNDER: United Nations, , , ,
Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.

Comments

  1. Thirty-two countries wanted Iran on the UNSC. Great. Fortunately, it isn’t possible for my opinion of the UN to be any lower than it already is.




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  2. Dave Schuler says:

    As best as I’ve been able to determine the voting for this is by secret ballot. My guess as to who Iran’s supporters were would include Iran, Russia, Belarus, China, North Korea, Pakistan, Cuba, and, possibly, a couple of other of the ‘stans.

    I’d be interested in seeing suggestions on which other countries might have voted for a seat for Iran. Iraq, maybe?




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  3. John Burgess says:

    Syria would definitely be on the list of supporters.

    One can also see a sort of logic for some of the Arab states like Saudi Arabia on the Council in order to shift frictions to a diplomatic venue rather than keeping it in a place where it could become hot, fast.




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  4. Dave Schuler says:

    One can also see a sort of logic for some of the Arab states like Saudi Arabia on the Council in order to shift frictions to a diplomatic venue rather than keeping it in a place where it could become hot, fast.

    Would that be the effect? Or would it merely enable Iran to keep the ball up in the air for another two years? That was the experience with Rwanda.




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  5. John Burgess says:

    No guarantee, but hope does spring eternal. And who knows? Lightning might strike and a rational leadership arise in Iran.




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  6. Dave Schuler says:

    If experience of grand revolutions is any judge, that won’t happen for fifty years or more. By then either the world will have learned to accept a nuclear-armed Iran or Iran will have ceased to exist.




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