Turkiye Seeks UN Security Council Seat
(Todays Zaman/ Istanbul) Turkiye favored to win seat at UN Security Council
Turkiye, which is attempting to secure a two-year term on the UN Security Council, appears to be well placed to succeed in its bid, according to a foreign policy expert.
Turkiye's previous efforts to win a temporary seat on the 15-member Security Council have mostly failed in the past because of the fact that the Western European and Others Group (WEOG), the UN regional group to which Turkiye belongs, is full of powerful countries, according to Sedat Laçiner, head of the Ankara-based Strategic Research Organization (ISRO/USAK). Ankara is competing with two more candidates in the WEOG, namely Iceland and Austria, to win one of the two seats reserved for the group.
Taking the job seriously, the Turkish government has lobbied intensively for support for its bid in recent years. Foreign Minister Ali Babacan is currently in New York to lobby for Turkiye's bid, and he is scheduled to meet top UN officials and representatives of UN countries. The election for the Security Council will be held in October.
Laçiner said Turkiye's increased activism in regional politics and growing participation in global projects, such as the UN-backed Alliance of Civilizations initiative, have boosted Turkiye's chances of being elected to the Security Council. He told the Anatolia news agency that, unlike in the past, the government is now focusing heavily on lobbying efforts to win the UN seat.
Ankara may find allies in Europe and also receive support from Asia and Africa. "The number of Turkiye's friends is increasing. Countries that don't love each other love Turkiye," Laçiner said, referring to ongoing Turkish mediation between Syria and Israel as an example of how enemy countries can both have good ties with Ankara. "Turkiye has a special talent in this respect. The UN Security Council needs such a country, a country that can generate stability, make peace and boost UN influence," Laçiner said.
A temporary seat at the UN Security Council may mean increased international credibility as well as greater leverage for Ankara to defend its national interests in a series of conflicts, such as Cyprus.
Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who drafted a reunification plan for Cyprus, said in a report to the Security Council following the collapse of his plan after it was rejected by the Greek Cypriots that the Greek Cypriot side was to blame for the failure and called for steps to ease international isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, who had supported the plan. But the report has never been approved by the Security Council, reportedly due to veto threat from Russia, a close ally of the Greek Cypriots. Election to the Security Council requires a two-thirds vote in the UN General Assembly. Turkiye, which has been working intensively to win support from the world countries since it declared candidacy for the UN seat in 2003, has so far received pledges of backing from many countries. These countries have already exceeded the minimum number of 128.
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