Spain wins seat on UN Security Council

Spain beat out Turkey to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations' "top table" on Thursday night after three tense rounds of voting among delegates of the 193 countries in the UN General Assembly.

Spain wins seat on UN Security Council
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel GarcĂ­a-Margallo smiles after beating out Turkey for a seat on the United Nations Security Council on Thursday in New York. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images/North

In what the Spanish government described as a victory for the country’s diplomacy, Spain joins Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand and Venezuela as rotating members whose two-year terms will start in January.

Over the three rounds of voting, Turkey saw its support dwindle from 109 votes to 73 and finally 60, surprising many who saw the regional player as a strong contender. Angola won 190 votes, Malaysia picked up 187, New Zealand 145 and Spain 132.

The five elected countries to the 15-member council will join the five permanent powers — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — for a two-year term. The permanent members have veto powers.

Five other countries elected last year are mid-way into their term. These are Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania and Nigeria.

Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, Rwanda and South Korea will make way for the five new non-permanent members in January.  

According to Spanish daily El País, it is the fifth time Spain has been elected to the Security Council. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy welcomed the development: "It is excellent news which shows the confidence the international community has in our country at this time."   

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