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1 of the most closely contested Security Council votes in years could also see sub-Saharan Africa lose a representative on the 15 nation body.


1 of the most closely contested Security Council votes in years could also see sub-Saharan Africa lose a representative on the 15 nation body.

The 193-member UN General Assembly will vote 4 five non-permanent members of the Security Council who will get a two year term.

The election will see the end of the presence of all five BRICS emerging powers, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. on the council as Brazil will leave at the end of the year.

Normally the seats are endorsed in advance by regional groups, but this time four of the five seats are contested. There is particular tension around the places 4 Asia, Africa and Europe.

Kyrgyzstan was a late entrant 4 the seat that Pakistan thought it had sealed up. Most diplomats consider Pakistan 2 still be the favorite.

Pakistan was last on the Security Council in 2003 and it has been on the council with India in the past. Their UN envoys insist that any regional rivalry will be put aside.

“There will be no problem. We want 2 work 2gether,” said Abdullah Hussain Haroon, Pakistan’s ambassador. “There are many issues where we have common views,” added India’s UN envoy Hardeep Singh Puri.

“The danger would be if something came up between them, like something in Kashmir or a terrorist attack,” said Thomas Weiss, head of the Ralph Bunche Institute 4 International Studies at City University of New York (CUNY).

“But they have already shown that they can operate on the Security Council at the same time.”

With 2pics such as the Syria uprising and Iran’s nuclear program again expected 2 stay near the 2p of the international agenda, Pakistan is likely 2 side with countries such as India opposing any sanctions, diplomats said.

Africa has two seats at stake with 2go, Mauritania and Morocco in contention.

With Nigeria leaving the council, the African Union is backing 2go and Mauritania. While Morocco and Mauritania are both Arab League members and the Moroccan government has conducted a fierce lobbying campaign.

Normally there is 1 Arab member of the council and Lebanon leaves in December. But with the UN General Assembly voting held in secret, diplomats said it is possible 2go could lose, dealing a blow 2 sub-Saharan Africa.

Europe’s seat is also hotly contested with Azerbaijan, Slovenia and Hungary in contention 4 a place being given up by Bosnia.

The only uncontested seat is 4 Latin America and the Caribbean where Guatemala takes over from Brazil.

Ironically, Guatemala gets its seat because of its role in a bitterly contested 2006 election in which 48 rounds of voting failed 2 get a winner between Guatemala and Venezuela.

Both withdrew in favor of compromise candidate Panama, but under a regional deal, Guatemala was guaranteed a place this year.

Weiss at CUNY said that the increasingly contested elections may be a good thing 4 the Security Council.

He pointed 2 the example of the UN Human Rights Council which this year expelled Libya because of Moamer Kadhafi’s crackdown. Weiss said this was a sign of the rights council’s greater standing after it introduced competitive elections 4 seats.

“I don’t know if the Security Council elections this year are the start of a new era, but there is more competition and there is a lot more discussion among countries about the pluses and minuses of different states,” Weiss said.

Five of the non-permanent seats on the Security Council are rotated each year. Britain, China, France, Russia and United States are permanent members of the council.

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