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Final seat on Security Council remains undecided

Final seat on Security Council remains undecided after third day of voting

The United Nations General Assembly remained deadlocked after a third day of voting this week in the contest to fill a non-permanent seat on the Security Council allocated to the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, with Guatemala maintaining its lead over Venezuela but falling short of the necessary majority.

After 13 rounds of voting today, which takes the total number of rounds so far to 35, neither Guatemala nor Venezuela had yet obtained a two-thirds majority of ballots of members present and voting. Balloting will resume next Wednesday morning.

Guatemala and Venezuela are contending to serve as a non-permanent Council member for a two-year term starting 1 January 2007, replacing Argentina. It is the only seat not yet determined.

In the 35th round today, when 123 votes would have been enough to secure victory, Guatemala obtained 103 votes and Venezuela received 81. There were seven abstentions. Guatemala has led in every round so far, with the exception of the sixth round on Monday, when the two countries were tied.

Balloting will continue until a State from the region achieves the required majority. There is no limit to the number of rounds of voting and in 1979-80 there were a record 155 ballots before Mexico was chosen from the Latin American and Caribbean Group to serve a two-year term.

On Monday Assembly members, following an agreed geographic allocation, elected Belgium, Indonesia, Italy and South Africa to serve as non-permanent members starting 1 January next year. They will replace Denmark, Greece, Japan and Tanzania when their terms end on 31 December.

The Council’s five other non-permanent members, whose terms end on 31 December 2007, are Congo, Ghana, Peru, Qatar and Slovakia. The five permanent members, which are the only members with veto power when voting, are China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States.

ends

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