Azerbaijan gets UN Security Council seat

Story highlights

  • The U.S. congratulates the new non-permanent members of the Security Council
  • Slovenia drops its bid after 16 rounds of voting
  • Azerbaijan and Slovenia had been deadlocked over the fifth seat
  • Countries are voted onto the Security Council by all 193 U.N. member nations

Azerbaijan was awarded the open seat on the U.N. Security Council Monday after Slovenia dropped its bid.

Four countries, including Pakistan, were elected last week to join the Security Council in January as non-permanent members for two-year terms. Also elected, via secret ballot, were Guatemala, Morocco and Togo.

They join the Security Council's five permanent members -- China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States -- plus five countries elected to two-year, non-permanent membership last year -- Colombia, Germany, India, Portugal and South Africa.

Azerbaijan and Slovenia were locked in a contest for the fifth seat this year. Azerbaijan was the clear front-runner and after 16 rounds of voting, Slovenia decided to pull out.

Voting was conducted in the U.N. General Assembly. Countries are voted onto the Security Council by all 193 U.N. member nations.

"Our campaign was always for Slovenia, for the values that we represent. We were never campaigning against any other candidate," said Samuel Zbogar, Slovenia's foreign minister, by way of announcing his country's decision to withdraw.

"We don't approve (of) the way this campaign was held and we don't approve (of) the way these elections were held. However, the current result speaks for itself," he said.

When contacted by CNN later to elaborate on the county's objections, the Slovenian Mission to the United Nations declined to elaborate.

Representatives from various countries lined up to extend their sympathies to the losing candidate. Slovenia entered the race for a Security Council seat some 11 years ago.

Starting in January, the council will have as members seven of the nine nations known to have nuclear weapons: China, France, India, Pakistan, Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom. Absent will be Israel and North Korea.

Guatemala will serve on the council for the first time after a failed 2006 bid. That race, against Venezuela, lasted three weeks and 48 rounds of voting, the third-longest in U.N. history.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice released a statement late Monday, congratulating the new non-permanent members of the Security Council.

"In the coming year, the Security Council will address many pressing global challenges, including nuclear non-proliferation, counter-terrorism, conflict prevention and resolution, promotion of democracy and human rights, and the oversight of complex UN field operations, and the United States looks forward to strong partnership with the incoming members," it read.

Leaving the council will be Brazil, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gabon, Lebanon and Nigeria.

      CNN recommends

    • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

      North Korea nuclear dream video

      As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
    • Photos: Faces of the world

      Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
    • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

      How to fix a soccer match

      Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
    • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

      15 biggest souvenir-buying no-no's

      It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.