21 October 2011. The General Assembly today elected Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo to serve as non-permanent members of the Security Council for the next two years; but after nine rounds of voting, the seat allocated to a member from the Eastern European States was not filled, with Azerbaijan and Slovenia trading the leading edge.
Those elected will fill seats to be vacated on 31 December by Brazil, Gabon, Lebanon and Nigeria. Colombia, Germany, India, Portugal and South Africa will continue to serve as elected Council members during 2011, finishing the second year of their respective terms. All new Council members will take their seats on 1 January 2012.
The five non-permanent members were to be elected according to the following pattern: three from Africa and Asia-Pacific — with an understanding that two of those seats would go to African States — one from Eastern Europe, and one from Latin America and the Caribbean. The three new members from Guatemala, Morocco and Pakistan were elected in the first round of voting.
With one vacancy remaining among the African and Asia-Pacific States and with no clear majority among the Eastern European States at the end of the second round of voting, the Assembly moved into a third round, in which Togo was elected from the African and Asian-Pacific States. No Eastern European State during that round garnered sufficient votes.
In the six rounds that followed, Azerbaijan and Slovenia traded the lead in close votes. In the final vote — pushing the meeting an hour past the designated deadline — a total of 191 votes were cast, with 113 in favour of Azerbaijan and 77 for Slovenia, with one abstention, and 127 being the required two-thirds majority to be elected.
The General Assembly will next convene at 10 a.m. on Monday, 24 October, to elect 18 members of the Economic and Social Council and to continue with elections for members of the Security Council.
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Picture: Barbara Schieber, Atitlan, Guatemala