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UNITED NATIONS, October 25 (Itar-Tass) — “We expected the election of our country as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council,” Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mamedyarov told Itar-Tass after the vote at the General Assembly of the UN Security Council.
According to the Azerbaijani foreign minister, “on Friday and also all day on Monday there was a clearly tendency in favour of Azerbaijan seen in the General Assembly during the vote.” “I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all those who supported my country, as well as to the colleague from Slovenia, who decided to withdraw its candidate from further consideration since realized that the difference of 40 votes is a rather serious thing.”
In the second to last, 16th round of voting Azerbaijan received 116 votes, and Slovenia - 77. After Slovenian Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar withdrew the candidature of his country, only Azerbaijan remained on the ballot. It was supported by 155 of 193 UN member states, 24 delegations abstained, 13 - voted in favour of Slovenia. One country supported Hungary that dropped out after the first round of voting last Friday. To be elected, it was necessary to get two-thirds of the present and voting delegates of the UN General Assembly, that comprises 193 member states.
Asked by Itar-Tass which theme Azerbaijan will choose for the official open meeting when the time comes for it to chair the Security Council, Mamedyarov said that it was too early to speak about it. “First, it is necessary to determine the month for Azerbaijan’s chairmanship, and then we will settle this issue,” he said. “We will carefully follow all the problems discussed by the UN Security Council.”
At the same time, the Azerbaijani foreign minister stressed that “one of the most important elements for the UN Security Council is the maintenance of peace and security, as enshrined in the UN Charter.” “We consider this one of the most important issues,” he said. Mamedyarov called sustainable development “another very important element to which Azerbaijan is committed.” He named the protection of the environment among other important issues for his country.
According to a UN press release, Azerbaijan will become a member of the Security Council for the first time in its history after winning the final vacancy on the 15-member body during voting in New York on October 24. Azerbaijan claimed the non-permanent seat, awarded to an Eastern European country, on the 17th round of balloting after it scored 155 votes from United Nations Member States in the General Assembly – well clear of the necessary two-thirds majority of States present and voting. Slovenia received 13 votes and Hungary one vote.
The country’s victory occurred after Slovenia, which was also a candidate for the same Eastern European seat, withdrew its bid at the end of the 16th round. In that round Azerbaijan had obtained 116 votes to Slovenia’s 77. When voting resumed on Monday, Azerbaijan obtained 110 votes in the 10th round, while Slovenia received 83 votes.
A representative of Slovenia told the General Assembly that while his country believed it would be a good fit for the Council, it was withdrawing its candidacy as the will of the Assembly was clear.
Azerbaijan, which will hold the seat in 2012-13, succeeds Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Four other non-permanent seats for 2012-13 were filled on Friday when Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo were successful in earlier rounds of voting. All non-permanent seats are allocated according to a geographical formula.
The five new members will join Colombia, Germany, India, Portugal and South Africa, whose terms end on 31 December 2012, and the five permanent Council members, which each wield the power of veto – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.