S Korea wins UN Council seat

The United Nations General Assembly yesterday voted for the Republic of Korea with 149 votes over Bhutan and Cambodia for the Asia Pacific seat to serve as non-permanent members on the Security Council for two-year terms beginning January 1, 2013.

Along with South Korea, the 193-member Assembly in a secret ballot at the UN Headquarters in New York voted Argentina, Australia, Rwanda and Luxembourg as the five non-permanent members on the Security Council.All five obtained the required two-third majority of those Member States present to decide on the new composition of the Council, which deals with global peace and security issues.

The five newly- elected members will replace Colombia, Germany, India, Portugal and South Africa, whose terms end on December 31 this year.Under the UN Charter, the Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.

Soon after he arrived home from New York after attending the UN general assembly, Lyonchhoen Jigme Y Thinley had informed that Bhutan’s chances of winning a non-permanent seat on the Council was minimal given Bhutan’s lack of diplomatic relations with other countries.

Bhutan has diplomatic relations with 46 countries today. “And that indeed is our weakness,” Lyonchhoen had told earlier. “Bhutan’s chances of being elected from the very beginning was minimal, for the reason that, unlike Cambodia and (South) Korea, which have relations with almost every country, Bhutan had, at that point of time, relations with only 21 countries, to begin with.”

While lyonchhoen announced Bhutan’s candidature for a non-permanent seat on the UN security council to the local media in 2010, Bhutan presented its candidature to the UN in 1999.