Turkey Wins Race for Seat on UN Security Council
After five years of intense lobbying, Turkey was elected on Friday to the United Nations' influential Security Council for a two-year term starting on Jan. 1. Turkey secured a seat at the powerful body in the first round of the vote, receiving 151 out of 192 votes in the UN General Assembly.
Austria won the second seat reserved for the Western European and Others Group with 132 votes, while financial crisis-hit Iceland was defeated in the election with 87 votes. In addition to Turkey, the UN Assembly also elected Japan, Austria, Mexico and Uganda to the Security Council for 2009-10. They will serve alongside five other non-permanent members that hold their seats for another year, and five permanent members. Turkey, absent from the Security Council for almost half a century, has been lobbying for a seat at the 15-member council since 2003. Foreign Minister Ali Babacan was in New York for a final round of lobbying, trying to drum up support for Turkey's bid until the very last minute by highlighting the country's growing role and regional influence as a peacemaker