NEW YORK – Malaysia won a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), taking 187 out of the total 192 votes.
The voting took place at the United Nations General Assembly hall to fill five vacancies among the Security Council’s non-permanent membership.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman was at the hall to cast the vote for Malaysia.
Malaysia needed to garner at least 130 votes to get elected.
A total of 193 representatives of UN member countries were eligible to cast their votes to elect the five new members of the council.
The new members will take up their seats on Jan 1, 2015 and will serve on the Council until Dec 31, 2016.
The five seats available for election in 2014, distributed regionally, are: one seat for the African Group (currently held by Rwanda); one seat for Asia-Pacific Group (currently held by the Republic of Korea);
One seat for the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, (currently held by Argentina); and two seats for the Western European and Others Group (currently held by Australia and Luxembourg).
Lithuania will maintain for another year the seat for the Eastern European Group.
The respective winners for other vacancies were Angola (Africa), Venezuela (Latin America and the Caribbean) and New Zealand (Western European and Others Group) while Spain and Turkey are involved in a third round of balloting to fill the remaining seat.
The five permanent Council members, which each wield the power of veto, are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Along with Lithuania, the non-permanent members that will remain on the Council until the end of 2015 are Chad, Chile, Jordan, and Nigeria.
Under the UN Charter, the Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. Each of the Council’s members has one vote. Under the Charter, all UN Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.
The Security Council takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or acta of aggression. It calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of settlement. In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.
The Security Council also recommends to the General Assembly the appointment of the Secretary-General and the admission of new Members to the United Nations.
And, together with the General Assembly, it elects the judges of the International Court of Justice.
Prior to this, Malaysia has been on the UNSC thrice – in 1965, 1989 till 1990 and 1999 till 2000. – Bernama