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Azerbaijan’s election to the Security Council has elicited negative remarks from member states, as many feel that Azerbaijan’s position on the Security Council is an example of the United Nation’s procedural stagnation. Azerbaijan was declared victorious after Slovenia withdrew its bid for election; until then, the two states had been caught in a deadlock voting procedure, reaching its seventeenth round until Slovenia’s withdrawal. Azerbaijan eventually won the uncontested election with 116 votes for and 77 against.
New York, 15 August 2011
On August 1, India assumed the presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), replacing Germany. It is the first time the country has occupied the seat in nearly two decades, the previous instance being in December 1992.
As SC President, Permanent Representative of India Hardeep Singh Puri emphasized the important responsibilities India was to shoulder. “The manner in which you conduct yourself in the deliberations of the council, the kind of positions you take, the political maturity which you display not only as the member of the council but more in the presidency, those ultimately reflect on the country's credentials,” he stated. While India entertains particular aspirations of its own, Puri acknowledged, it must work in the long-term and address the concerns of other countries.
New York, 08 August 2011
On June 26, the executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) named Christine Lagarde as its next managing director, ending the selection process that began in May. Ms. Lagarde is the eleventh head of the IMF and the first woman to occupy the position. In her acceptance of the position, she expressed her determination to ensure the IMF was “relevant, responsive, effective and legitimate.” She replaces Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned in May 2011 after being indicted on sexual assault charges.
New York, August 06, 2011
Elections for the International Court of Justice bench are expected to be held this September or October. The terms of office of Mr. Hisashi Owada, Mr. Peter Tomka, Mr. Abdul G. Koroma, Mr. Bruno Simma and Ms. Xue Hanqin are due to expire on 5 February 2012. In the sixty-sixth session of the GA, the GA and SC will have to appoint new members to fill these five vacancies. The Secretary-General has requested that nominations from each region—Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, Western Europe & Other, and Asia, respectively—reach him by 30 June 2011.1
New York, 02 August 2011
On 22 June, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser was elected by acclamation as President of the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly (GA). As the GA presidency rotates between the five geographic regions, Mr. Al-Nasser was nominated by the Asian Group this year as the sole candidate for the presidency.
The Selection Process
Though the GA presidency is often painted as carrying little formal power, with each term lasting only one year, it is nevertheless a sought-after position. Qatar announced its campaign for the seat as a member of the Asian Group nearly a decade ago. It competed with Nepal, which announced its interest two years earlier and energetically lobbied its neighbors in South Asia for support. Even so, it was not selected for two more regional rotations, during which South Korea and Bahrain won the Asian Group seat in 2001 and 2006, respectively.1
New York, June 21, 2011
2011 Appointment of UN Secretary-General
On 6 June, 2011, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon publicly announced his bid for re-election. After “humbly” offering himself for consideration, he expressed pride for the accomplishments of the international community under his first term in office: on issues such as climate change; humanitarian crises in Myanmar, Haiti, and Pakistan; and African conflict regions, for instance. He also cited the success of increasing female representation, as well as his leadership in improving transparency, accountability, and efficiency in the UN system. With regards to the future, he urged a “redoubl[ing]” of efforts towards the Millennium Development Goals and maintaining momentum on nuclear disarmament. 
No alternative candidates emerged to challenge Ban. He received the strong and widespread support of member states, including all members of the Security Council and all regional groups. Following his unanimous re-election in the General Assembly on 21 June 2011, his second term is set to begin on January 1, 2012.
New York, November 11, 2010 - On Wednesday, November 10, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) met to elect 41 new members to form the Executive Board of UN Women, the newly-formed agency that will champion gender equality and women's empowerment. Former Chilean President Michele Bachelet was appointed Under-Secretary General of UN Women in September of this year. (For more background, see Issue 154 ) . Now with its Executive Board in place, UN Women is expected to be fully operational by January 1, 2011.
New York, October 21, 2010 - On Tuesday, October 12, the UN General Assembly elected five countries to two-year seats on the Security Council. Colombia, India, Germany, Portugal, and South Africa will begin their terms on January 1, 2011. The new non-permanent members will replace Austria, Japan, Mexico, Turkey, and Uganda, whose terms end on December 31, 2010.
New York, September 23, 2010 - On Tuesday, September 14, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon announced his highly anticipated appointment of former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet as the head of the newly-created UN Women. UN women, more formally known as the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, was established earlier this year to consolidate efforts by four separate UN agencies to more effectively deal with women's issues.
For more background on the establishment of UN Women, see UNelections Monitor #152.
Bachelet's appointment as Under-Secretary General has been widely applauded as a victory for international women's issues by UN insiders and civil society groups alike. According to the Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR) campaign, "Michelle Bachelet is a top notch choice and has long been one of GEAR's dream candidates."