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Germany wins UN Security Council seat

AFP/The Local · 12 Oct 2010, 19:26

Published: 12 Oct 2010 18:25 GMT+02:00
Updated: 12 Oct 2010 19:26 GMT+02:00

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Germany had been part of a three country battle with Portugal and Canada for two seats from a Western group of countries dominated by Europe.

Germany secured 128 votes in the first round, one more than the two-thirds majority required. Canada withdrew after an inconclusive second round, leaving victory to Portugal.

India, South Africa and Colombia all secured the two-year seats on the council in uncontested votes.

Five of the 15 nations on the Security Council are elected to two year terms each year. Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States are permanent members of the council who can veto any resolution.

The new countries will take the places of Japan, Austria, Turkey, Mexico and Uganda and give the Security Council a completely new political profile.

Germany, India and South Africa have all been pressing for a permanent role in a reformed Security Council. Brazil is also part of the campaign for change and it will go into a second year on the council as a non permanent member.

"We will discuss a reform of the UN, but not now, not today. It's necessary to change the structures to make the UN more effective," said German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

"The vote is a success for Germany. It shows that the world has trust in us. We will do everything to justify that trust," he added, setting out Germany's priorities as peace, security, climate protection, development, disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation.

"Germany is reliable - not only when it comes to its products but also when it comes to its foreign policy. The world knows it can rely on Germany," he told reporters.

India secured 187 votes and its UN ambassador, Hardeep Singh Puri, said his country was "humbled" by the score.

"It is a fact that many of the countries on the new council are also aspirants for permanent membership," said Puri, pointing to the presence of the emerging powers.

"Naturally all of us will try to use the time that we have during this two year tenure to also give our partners a sense of confidence, build trust, so that they are comfortable with our membership of the Security Council on an extended basis," the envoy told reporters.

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Britain's ambassador to the UN Mark Lyall Grant acknowledged the changes that the new powers would bring to the new 2011 Security Council.

"All of them will bring their own unique advantages and make this a very strong Security Council," he said after the UN General Assembly vote.

Lyall Grant highlighted that Britain supported India, Japan, Germany and Brazil becoming permanent members of a changed council and increased African representation.

"It will be a mini-reflection of the sort of reformed Security Council that the UK would like to see," he told reporters.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

20:02 October 12, 2010 by maxbrando
If Germany wants a permanent seat with the big boys, it better bring a lot more to the table than is possible. Brasil and India each represent 10-20 times more people, andthey are folks who are not arrogant and spoiled brats as Germans mostly are. Seems to me that even the Brits have their own permanentt seat on the security council, they do not deserve it. It is a relic of WWII. If the EU wants a permanent seat on the security council, then all the EU members need to give up their memberships in the UN. If not, why can't each of the 50 states in the United States of America have their own UN memberships??
22:22 October 12, 2010 by OMFG
Yes, maxbrando - why not assign all permanent and non-permanent seats and some more seats to the 50 states in the "United States of Amerrrrrrica" and have them decide for the rest of us. It would kind of reflect the sad reality...

You are a great guy, maxbrando, great thoughts from you here!
22:44 October 12, 2010 by Bushdiver
Who cares. The UN is a joke to the world. No one respects them anyway.
22:54 October 12, 2010 by wxman
Bushdiver, once again, hits the mark.
00:20 October 13, 2010 by Prufrock2010
It's nothing more than an honorary position in a failed institution, rather like a bigger deck chair on the Titanic.
02:17 October 13, 2010 by wenddiver
Hopefully, the US will give them our seat and pull out completely or at least stop all funding of this worthles prganization.
08:53 October 13, 2010 by LancashireLad

Wrong. It US that has no respect for .... I'll stop by just saying "the UN". I still maintain that when the US marched into Iraq, Kofi Annan (sp?) should have sent in a peacekeeping force. No, I have never agreed with Blair dragging us in with you guys.


Please post a link to any article factually stating that the EU wants a seat on the UN security council. Bascially, if you have one president/prime minister/ you get one seat. That's why it's called the United NATIONS, and like it or not, the US is ONE nation.

I do agree though that there needs to be reform

1. Add more permanent members

2. Remove the veto or allow other Security Council members to veto a veto. You can't just have one spoiled kid doing whatever it wants.
08:59 October 13, 2010 by moistvelvet
With Germany joining the club there are now two countries in the UNSC guaranteed to veto any future resolution against Israel, they just wouldn't dare with their hangup about WW2.
09:06 October 13, 2010 by Kayak
C'mon guys! Why all this negativity? Isn't it great that India (est. 1950) and Germany (est. 1949) can now exchange ideas as equals at the UN?

These two young countries are so vibrant!

Indians and Germans side-by-side on the global stage. Wonderful!
09:53 October 13, 2010 by venkyfra
Germany & India getting a seat in UN is significant.

Most interesting point atleast for me(as a Indian) is Pakistan voted for India. Thats really appreciable move.
10:22 October 13, 2010 by raandy
I like the analogy that "its just a bigger deck chair on the Titanic" that pretty much sums up a seat on the council..
18:47 October 14, 2010 by michael4096
Like any voluntary organization, the UN is what it's members want it to be. While the main members prefer to be disunited, so it shall be..
13:17 October 15, 2010 by DinhoPilot
Yeah... now the world is safer place... (cries in joy)
12:20 October 17, 2010 by StrykerMike
Some corrections to some comments I'm reading:

MOISTVELVET: Germany is non-permanent member, so it does not get a veto

VENKYFRA: the voting process is a "secret ballot" system. No one knows who voted for who.
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