November 8 - Issue 37 - ECOSOC Members Elected – Regional Endorsements Determine Vote

New York, November 8, 2007 - Today the General Assembly elected 18 members of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in one round of voting.

WEOG Rotation Gives Liechtenstein One-year Term

First, a vote took place to elect Liechtenstein to replace Germany for the remaining one year of Germany's term. Germany submitted a letter to the UN Secretary-General on 23 July 2007 citing the "rotation agreement within the Group of Western European and Other States for membership" in ECOSOC and stating that it would relinquish its seat in favor of Liechtenstein.

In the vote, Liechtenstein received 129 votes, which was above the two-thirds majority required for election. Also receiving a few votes each were other WEOG members - three of the endorsed WEOG candidates (Sweden, Iceland, and the United Kingdom), as well as Germany and Switzerland.

Seven Members Re-elected, 11 New Members Elected

The General Assembly then conducted the election for states to replace the 18 current members whose terms will expire on December 31, 2007.

Outgoing countries:

-          Africa: Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Guinea, South Africa 

-         Asia: China, India, Pakistan, Thailand

-         Eastern Europe: Albania, Lithuania, Russia

-         Latin America and Caribbean: Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico

-         Western Europe and Others: Denmark, Iceland, New Zealand, United Kingdom

GA President Srgjan Kerim read the names of States whose candidatures had been endorsed by their respective regions via communication with the UN Secretariat. All five "clean slates" were on record with the Secretariat by October 9, 2007.

The five regions' endorsed candidates received more than the required two-thirds majority and were elected, as expected. Therefore, staying on the Council for another term will be: China, Pakistan, Russia, Brazil, Iceland, New Zealand and the UK. Newly joining the Council on January 1, 2008 will be: Cameroon, Congo, Malaysia, Moldova, Mozambique, Niger, Poland, Republic of Korea, St. Lucia, Sweden, and Uruguay.

Malaysia received the highest number of votes - 185 out of the 188 ballots cast. Several States who had not received regional endorsement also received votes: Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Sudan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Laos, Albania, Belarus, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Denmark. Several of these are current members.

The new and re-elected members will join the following 36 members on the Council in January:

Algeria, Angola, Austria, Barbados, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Canada, Cape Verde, Cuba, Czech Republic, El Salvador, France, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein (as of today's vote), Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Netherlands, Paraguay, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, United States.

ECOSOC has a total of 54 members.

Procedures

Like other elections to major bodies of the UN, such as the Security Council, ECOSOC election procedures follow the General Assembly's Rules of Procedure. Election requires a two-thirds majority and greatest number of votes of members present and voting - and submitting a valid ballot. Invalid ballots are those containing more names than seats available. Also, name written on the ballot for the wrong region will not be counted. In the case of a tie, the two equal-scoring candidates compete in a "restricted ballot" in which they are the only two candidates.

However, unlike with the Security Council, members of ECOSOC are eligible for immediate re-election when their terms expire.

The regional distribution of seats on ECOSOC is determined by GA Resolution 2847 of 1971 ("Enlargement of the Economic and Social Council").