/ 16 October 2007

Libya, Vietnam, Burkina Faso elected to UN council

Libya, Vietnam and Burkina Faso were on Tuesday elected to non-permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council for the years 2008/09.

The three countries were unopposed and obtained the required two-thirds majority of votes in favour from the 192-member UN General Assembly.

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic and the Dominican Republic pulled out of Security Council elections on Tuesday, clearing the way for Croatia and Costa Rica to win non-permanent seats for 2008/09.

The moves by the two countries came after a second ballot of General Assembly voting in which both Croatia and Costa Rica pulled well ahead, coming close to winning the two-thirds majority required from the 192-member assembly.

At that point, the Czech Republic and the Dominican Republic decided not to pursue their contests. A further ballot was being held, however, to confirm the required majority for Croatia and Costa Rica.

Winners will take seats on the 15-member council on January 1 for a two-year period. Non-permanent members have no veto.

Costa Rica has sat on the council twice before, and the Dominican Republic never has.

Libya’s election to the council is another big step in its journey back to international respectability after years in which the West accused it of sponsoring terrorism.

But human rights groups that call Libya and Vietnam undemocratic have already expressed dismay at the prospect of them sitting on the council, which can dispatch peacekeeping forces or impose sanctions. — Reuters