UNITED NATIONS (AP) – Turkey failed in its effort to join the UN’s most powerful body on Thursday, while Venezuela, New Zealand, Spain, Angola and Malaysia were elected to coveted Security Council seats.
Special attention had been on Turkey as it is under growing pressure to do more about the war in Syria pushing up against its border. Turkey lobbied heavily among the General Assembly’s 193 member states for their votes, with its foreign minister hosting a party at the iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel the night before the vote.
In competition with New Zealand and Spain for two seats representing the western group of nations, Turkey fell behind as New Zealand easily gained a seat on the first ballot and Spain made it on the third.
“We could not abandon our principles for the sake of getting more votes,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in comments carried by the state-run Anadolu Agency.
The five winners will join the Security Council on January 1 and serve through 2016 as non-veto-wielding members. They will replace Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, South Korea and Rwanda.
Venezuela’s socialist government was unopposed for the single seat allocated to Latin America and the Caribbean. Angola was the only candidate for an African seat, and Malaysia had no opposition for an Asian seat.