Sundeep Bhutoria

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Quite a day at the UN General Assembly

At the United Nations General Assembly
29 June, 2016: New York always keeps everybody busy and so do I. Yesterday I went to the Indian Mission and met Ambassador Mr Tanmay Lal, who is the deputy permanent representative of India to UN
It was a courtesy call and from there I went to the United Nations General Assembly to witness what turned out to be an important day in the history of United Nations.
The 193 members of the United Nations General Assembly today, after rounds of secret ballots at the UN Headquarters in New York, elected Sweden, Bolivia, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan to serve on the world body’s Security Council for a period of two years, starting from 1 January 2017.
There is a election for five non-permanent seats in the Security Council divided on the basis of geographical grouping. Ethiopia and Bolivia were elected uncontested from the African region. Sweden did extremely well and won one of the two seats in from the Western Europe and others group in the morning rounds itself, competing with Italy and Netherlands.
With Dy Foreign Minister, Sweden, Annika Soder
Thailand lost to Kazakhstan among Asia-Pacific region. The real contest took place between Italy and Netherlands vying for the only one non-permanent Council seat. After many rounds of voting there were no clear winners and by 5 pm both the countries got 95 votes each.
The two countries suggested sharing the two-year term, each with one-year period. This is an unprecedented situation since 1963 when UN initiated the rotational membership of countries. The Assembly will take a decision on this tomorrow.
With Arlan A Idrissov, Foreign Minister
of Kazakhstan
In the evening I attended a reception at the UN hosted by Thailand in the beautiful hall overlooking river Hudson. The foreign ministers and ambassadors of several countries were there. Though Thailand lost, it was a gracious gesture to host a reception.
I personally congratulated the deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Ms Annika Soder and also the Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, Mr Arlan A Idrissov.
ess bee

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