Turkey lobbying for UN Security Council seat

Article Summary
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has met with a number of heads of state in an attempt to drum up support ahead of the election for UN Security Council nonpermanent member seats, but the competition remains stiff.

Turkey has accelerated its diplomatic activity to be elected to a nonpermanent Security Council seat for the 2015-2016 term. As Turkey is competing with Spain and New Zealand for the seat, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met last week in New York with representatives of 80 countries. Turkey was a nonpermanent Security Council member during 2009-2010. Turkey won the Security Council’s Western European seat in 2009, with 151 votes in the first round of voting. It again wants to be elected with a record number of votes. In the 2009 race, Austria trailed Turkey with 132 votes. The third [state candidate] and loser was Iceland, with 87 votes.

Turkey, now seeking a nonpermanent Security Council seat with the slogan “Service to mankind and contribution to world peace and security,” will not have it so easy this time around. Reports say Spanish-speaking countries will back Spain. Thus, Spain appears as the likely first-place finisher. That leaves Turkey to compete with New Zealand for the second seat; hence Davutoglu’s shuttle diplomacy. Turkey has been intensely lobbying the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Davutoglu, who recently attended the CARICOM heads of state and government summit held at St. Vincent and Grenadines, lobbied [there] for Turkish membership. It is believed that there was general support for a Turkish candidacy at the summit, which was attended by the foreign ministers of Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

Turkey is expecting support also from friendly African nations it has approached with the message “Turkey can contribute significantly to global peace and security at a time of very rapid developments and changes in regional and international arenas.” During his New York visit, Davutoglu asked for support from African group representatives at the African Union Mission and from official representatives of Pacific Ocean island states.

The Security Council has 15 members, five of them permanent. The five permanent members — the US, the UK, France, China and Russia — have veto rights. Each year five nonpermanent members are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms. A country needs 129 votes from the General Assembly to be elected. The next elections, in which Turkey, Spain and New Zealand will compete, will be held during the next General Assembly [meeting] in October of this year.

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Found in: united nations, un security council, un general assembly, turkey, ahmet davutoglu, africa, abdullah gul
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