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Denmark gets seat on UN Security Council

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AFP/Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Denmark gets seat on UN Security Council
United Nations members vote for the new non-permanent members of the Security Council. Photo: Sarah Yenesel/EPA/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark has been awarded a seat on the UN Security Council for the next two years.

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Years of diplomacy have resulted in Denmark being elected to one of the rotating seats on the UN Security Council.

Along with Greece, Pakistan, Panama and Somalia, Denmark was elected by secret ballot yesterday at the United Nations General Assembly to serve on the Security Council for the 2025-2026 term.

The top UN panel, charged with maintaining international peace and security, is comprised of 15 nations, including five veto-wielding permanent members: Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

Ten others are elected to two-year terms, half of which are renewed each year. 

The five nations elected Thursday had run unopposed.

In a statement, Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, who was present at the vote said it was a “big day for Danish foreign affairs”.

Although the vote was unopposed, Denmark’s inclusion comes after a long-term diplomatic push by the country during which high-profile Danish politicians including Kristian Jensen, a former finance minister, and Holger K. Nielsen, a former foreign minister, have served as special representatives to the council.

“This honour brings great responsibility. It is still the UN that we turn to when we need to find solutions to the major global crises. In a time of challenged relations between the permanent members of the Security Council, Denmark will seek dialogue, build bridges and cooperate with fellow member to find compromises and solutions,” Rasmussen said in the statement.

Foreign ministers from other newly-elected members of the council also issued statements.

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"Our tenure will be guided by the full commitment to multilateralism and respect of the principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter," said Somali Foreign Minister Ahmed Moallim Fiqi, who last month called for the departure of the UN mission in his country by the end of the year.

"We will strive to strengthen the cooperation between the Security Council and the regional organizations, including the African Union," he added.

Greek Foreign Minister Giorgios Gerapetritis highlighted how his country's position "at the crossroad" of three continents could help build bridges between north and south, east and west.

"We aspire to give a new meaning to the idea of peaceful settlement of disputes," he said.

While Denmark and other countries were positive about the outcome, the non-competitive vote was denounced by Human Rights Watch.

"Uncontested elections for seats on the Security Council or any other UN body make a mockery of the word 'election,'" Louis Charbonneau, UN director for the NGO, said on X, the former Twitter.

"Member countries should give themselves a choice so governments responsible for serious human rights abuses can be rejected," he said.

Charbonneau noted how Russian ally Belarus was defeated by Slovenia last year in a competitive election for the East European regional group seat, as members strongly opposed Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The five incoming countries will replace Ecuador, Japan, Malta, Mozambique and Switzerland starting January 1st, 2025.

They will join the other five non-permanent members elected last year: Algeria, Guyana, Sierra Leone, Slovenia and South Korea.

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