The UN General Assembly on Monday elected Azerbaijan to a two-year term on the Security Council, joining Pakistan, Morocco, Guatemala and Togo as the five new non-permanent members of the most powerful UN body.
Azerbaijan and Slovenia had been locked in over 10 rounds of ballots since Friday in a tough competition for the Eastern European seat on the 15-nation council.
Azerbaijan won 155 votes on Monday in the 17th ballot since the 193 members of the UN General Assembly began casting their secret votes to elect five new council members.
“We hope that by participating in the activity of one of the principal UN bodies, these countries will actively contribute to the consolidation of the organization’s central role in world affairs, enhance its effectiveness and credibility in the global agenda, as well as search for the countries’ collective responses to the challenges and threats on the most wide range of issues,” a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Analysts say the new structure of the council is more likely to yield to US pressure over the Palestinian bid for full UN membership, particularly Guatemala and Togo who replaced Brazil and Nigeria.
Azerbaijan is considered more vulnerable to the US pressure than its predecessor on the council Bosnia and Herzegovina, despite being an Islamic country.
The council is currently considering President Mahmoud Abbas’ application, which he submitted on Sept. 23.
Washington has said it will veto Palestinian membership of the world body, but it could avoid the potential diplomatic fallout of vetoing the bid if Palestine fails to secure nine votes in the council.
However, the council is expected to vote on Nov. 11 and the new members’ term does not begin until Jan. 1 2012, so unless there is a delay they will not influence the Palestinian bid.