Azerbaijan Gets UN Security Council Seat

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Azerbaijan received the two-thirds support of UN member states needed for a Security Council seat Monday after its lead competitor, Slovenia, dropped out.

Azerbaijan and Slovenia went into a second day of balloting on October 24 after each failed to get the two-thirds majority needed from the General Assembly for the sole eastern European seat on the UN’s most powerful body.

The Slovenian representative announced his country was withdrawing after losing the 17th round to Azerbaijan by a 77-116 vote. In the final round, Azerbaijan got 155 votes, Slovenia 13 and Hungary one, with 24 countries abstaining. Four of the 15-member council’s five new members were chosen more easily on Friday: Pakistan, Morocco, Guatemala and Togo.

Security Council seats are coveted because they give countries a strong voice in matters dealing with international peace and security.

The new makeup puts Pakistan on the council alongside its regional rival, India, which like Colombia, Germany, Portugal and South Africa, is serving a two-year term that wraps up at the end of 2012. They will also serve with the five permanent, veto-wielding members: China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States.

The five new members replace Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Gabon, Lebanon and Nigeria. Because ballots are secret, multiple rounds of votes are common in Security Council elections.

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