GENEVA, October 15 — The election tomorrow of Venezuela and Turkey to the UN Security Council will be “like making pyromaniacs into the fire chiefs,” said UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer today.
Venezuela has been endorsed by the Latin American states and is running on a clean slate, making its election virtually certain. Turkey is competing with Spain and New Zealand for two available seats amon
Under the UN Charter, elections to the Security Council should consider a country’s contribution to international peace and security.
Yet have actively supported some of the world’s most
is notorious as the only country at the UN Human Rights Council last year to vote with Syria, effectively backing its mass murder of 200,000 people. So we know exactly what Venezuela will do with its UN vote. The regime likewise backed Libya’s Col. Qaddafi and other serial human rights abusers. Caracas violates its Security Council obligations on terrorism by providing passports to Hezbollah and supporting the narco-terrorist group FARC. That’s why Venezuela’s former ambassador to the UN Security Council, Diego Arria, strongly opposes the Maduro regime’s candidacy. In short, electing Venezuela to the Security Council is like making a pyromaniac into the fire chief.
2. Turkey’s escalating support for terrorist groups is antithetical to support for peace and security. As Vice-President Joseph Biden said last week, Turkey was among those providing hundreds of millions of dollars and tons of weapons to al-Nusra and al Qaeda. Turkey similarly backs Hamas and IHH, one of whose members was just killed fighting with ISIS, in a U.S.-led bombing in Syria. Erdogan’s government holds the world record in jailing journalists, shuts down social media on a whim, and ensures impunity for violence against women, all of which underscores its contempt for the UN’s fundamental values.
3. The election of countries like Venezuela or Turkey will only boost the influence and power of regimes like Assad in Syria, and will ensure that more innocent victims will die. Erdogan’s troops and tanks are only a mile away from Kobani in Syria, yet do nothing to stop ISIS from besieging its Kurdish population.
4. Non-permanent members gain meaningful influence, even if less than the veto-wielding powers. They participate in all council decisions including on deployment of troops from UN member countries, mandating cease-fires during wars, and imposing economic penalties on countries. They are also important because any council member can bring up an issue for discussion if nine of the 15 members agree; and a minimum of nine members are needed for any resolution to be adopted. The world prestige is an added bonus.
On October 16, 2014, the UNGA will elect five nonpermanent members to the Security Council for the 2015-2016 term. The newly elected members will replace Argentina, Rwanda, the Republic of Korea, Australia, and Luxembourg, whose terms will end this year.
The known candidates from each region are:
Angola (African Group)
Malaysia (Asia-Pacific Group)
New Zealand (WEOG)
With only one known candidate each from the Africa, Latin America and Caribbean, and Asia-Pacific groups, it is anticipated that Angola, Venezuela, and Malaysia will be elected to the Security Council without contest. However, three states from the Western group (New Zealand, Spain, and Turkey) have announced their interest in Western Europe’s two available seats. (The Eastern European Group’s one seat will not be open for election until next year, when Lithuania’s term end.) For detailed information: