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Sweden, Kazakhstan win coveted seats


06-29-2016 15:28 BJT

Sweden and Kazakhstan have won contested elections for coveted seats on the UN Security Council. The Netherlands and Italy ended a battle for another seat by agreeing to split the two-year term. The UN General Assembly convened to choose five new council members. It overwhelmingly elected Ethiopia and Bolivia, which faced no opposition for seats reserved for Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean.

But after five rounds of voting, the Netherlands and Italy were deadlocked. After two recesses, the foreign ministers of both countries announced a deal, saying Italy would hold the seat in 2017 and the Netherlands in 2018. The 15-member council includes five permanent members with veto power - the US, Russia, China, the UK and France - and 10 non-permanent members elected for two-year terms. Seats are allocated by region, and regional groups nominate candidates.

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