Panama set for contested UN seat

Guatemala and Venezuela are to withdraw from their bitter contest to secure a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council to make way for Panama, officials say.

    Chavez accused the US of "crude blackmail" over the UN seat

    Diego Cordovez, Ecuador's UN ambassador, made the announcement on Wednesday after talks between Gert Rosenthal, the Guatemalan foreign minister, and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro at Ecuador's UN mission.

    The choice of Panama as a compromise candidate now has to be endorsed by the UN Latin American and Caribbean Group and the UN general assembly.

    "The two foreign ministers have agreed on two issues - [first] bot

    h will withdraw their candidacy to the Security Council, and, second, Panama will be the country that the three of us will present to the [Latin American] group," Cordovez said.

     

    Bitter contest

     

    Guatemala, backed by the US, has won all but one rounds of voting in the UN's general assembly over the past three weeks in the fight for the council seat being vacated by Argentina at the end of the year.

     

    However it had failed to obtain the required two-thirds majority needed to win one of the 10 rotating council seats for Latin America.

     

    The row over the council seat had become the latest issue in increasingly fraught relations between Venezuela and the US.

     

    The US had accused Venezuela of being too confrontational over the seat, while Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, attacked the US for its "crude blackmail" of other nations in a bid to secure the seat for Guatemala.

     

    The 15-member council also has five veto-wielding permanent  members: Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.