Portugal beats Canada for Security Council seat in tight election

Security Council elections: this morning the GA elected Colombia, India, Germany, Portugal and South Africa to two-year non-permanent seats on the Security Council starting January 1, 2011.  They will replace Austria, Japan, Mexico, Turkey and Uganda.  The Latin American & Caribbean, African and Asian seats went uncontested, while Germany, Portugal and Canada competed for 2 WEOG seats.  With Germany securing a 2/3 vote in the first round, Portugal and Canada continued to a second round, after which a 2/3 majority had still not been reached.  Canada ultimately withdrew its nomination and Portugal secured over the 2/3 necessary to win in a third round.  CBC news has an interesting piece on the dynamics behind Canada’s bid and the outcome.  Bill Varner also wrote on the strategic implications of India and South Africa winning seats.  All four BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are now members of the Council.  Ambassador Rice’s statement on the elections is available here.

SG travels: though the details have not yet been elaborated, the SG’s Spokesperson confirmed the SG’s plan to visit Thailand soon.  The press is also reporting that he will attend the World Policy Conference in Morocco later this week.  Details are expected soon.