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Race for UNSC Has Cambodia Pitching Africans, Luxembourg with France

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 18 -- As the 67th UN General Assembly was gaveled in by new President Vuk Jeremic on Tuesday afternoon, much of the talk was of the two contested races for seats on the Security Council downstairs.

  The Permanent Representatives of Finland, Luxembourg and Australia, which are competing for two Western European & Other Group seats, were all in the GA, and chatting afterward.

  Luxembourg's Permanent Representative spoke with her French counterpart -- some snark that Luxembourg on the Council would just be another France, and there already is one - while Australia's Permanent Representative walked with a cowboy hatted colleague.

  "How goes the campaign?" Inner City Press asked. Tough, one of them answers. But it's going well, the other Aussie said.

  Perhaps unfairly, Inner City Press noted Australia's absence earlier on Tuesday when Permanent Representative Raymond Wolff of Jamaica did a roll-call of countries which sponsored Jamaica joining the UN in 1962.

  The UK missed the first call, too, until Mark Lyall Grant ran upstairs and made his appearance. One can't be everywhere. Including, as Canada found out, on the Palestinian question.

  In the Asian Group there is a competition of three countries, but for a single seat: South Korea, Cambodia, and Bhutan, most recently known in the UN for their campaign on happiness.

  Less happy, but working hard, Cambodia is meeting the African Group tomorrow. South Korea has the Ban Ki-moon card, just as Finland has the Martti Ahtisaari card, as well as chocolate bar. Or maybe NOT just as.

  Looking ahead -- way ahead -- in 2020 in the WEOG group, Norway will face off with Ireland and little San Marino for two seats. San Marino has never been on the Council, and that's an argument that sometimes carries weight. Watch this site.

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