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At UN, Jordan Gets 16 Votes, Saudi Only 140, Uruguay & South Sudan Lose

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 12, updated -- Among the UN system's five regional groups, only two had any competition in the election of their members this morning to the UN Human Rights Council.

   In the African Group, South Sudan lost with 89 votes. Elected were South Africa with 169, Algeria with 164, Morocco with 163 and Namibia with 150. (Tunisia got two votes.)

  UN result sheet put online here.

  In the Latin American and Caribbean Group, Uruguay lost with 93 votes. Elected were Cuba with 148 and Mexico with 135.

  The Asian / Pacific Group was going to have competition, before Jordan dropped out. Still, Jordan got 16 votes; Saudi Arabia got 140, less than the Maldives' 164.

   From Eastern Europe, two candidates for two seats: Russia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. (Slovakia and Latvia each got one vote.)

   The West European and Other Group, which talks a lot about democracy and against "clean slates," had a clean slate: two candidates, the UK and France, for two seats. Still, France got only 174, and UK 171. Stray votes went to Andorra, Greece, Luxembourg, Portugal and San Marino.

  During the voting Inner City Press took and tweeted photographs, of gifts and, for example, Sri Lankan military figure Shavendra Silva in the crowd. UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant conferred with Liechtenstein's representative, then with Rwanda's.  Our next story is about the International Criminal Court and Kenya.

  On Monday late afternoon, after Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's speech to member states in the Trusteeship Council Chamber, South Sudan's Permanent Representative Francis Deng, himself a former UN official, was seen heading to the Delegates Lounge in late-minute campaigning.

  It's a young country.

  Also campaigning was a Togolese diplomat running for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Koffi Kumelio A. Afande. The Permanent Representative from another African country told Inner City Press, it's a competitive race, and some "Europeans try to undermine African candidates for the ICTY."

  Down in the UN lobby, Morocco had arranged to have a display in support of its candidacy. In the General Assembly last week, it defended the exclusion of the Frente Polisario from the Security Council stakeout, saying this is only for member states. (The UN told Inner City Press it is only for "participants" in Security Council meetings, a different standard.)

In essence, only two countries will be left exposed as "losers" Tuesday morning. (This is prevalent at all levels of the UN, locking in the lack of reform.) But to compete and lose is one thing -- to through weight around, as is WEOG, is something else. Watch this site.


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