Oct 20, 2011

UN Security Council elections tomorrow

Though yesterday in the election calendar of next year I also mentioned Turkmenistan and Kazahstan as Eastern European states I must tell you I thought a lot before doing so. Finally I decided that I will mention them since they are former members of the Soviet Union, which was of course Eastern European in all political senses. I particularly want to talk about this today because the voting on the five non-permanent members of the UN Security Council will take place tomorrow on Friday the 21st of October.

Unfortunately in the Eastern European Group there is no clean-slate so it is currently not clear, which of the three nominees: Azerbaijan, Hungary or Slovenia will win. When defining Central and Eastern Europe we always have a hard time this is because these are not only geographic, but also political and cultural questions. I don't want to talk about Central Europe now because that is very comlicated and I will write about it later. (Since the subtitle of my blog mentions CE I will eventually have to give my own definition of it.) What I would now clarify is Eastern Europe and in this respect I think we can agree that a political definition can be used. This political definition for me is practically the former Eastern bloc the post-soviet and post-communist states. So mentioning the UN Regional Group of Eastern Europe is not withjout reason for its members truly seem to roundup what politically may define the region. Today this group has 23 members. Though with a shared history in the 20th century these countries are very much connected it is a region that is very diversified. It is worth noting that one of these dividing lines is the difference of EU membership and non-EU states. Other dividing lines include religious differences between countries with an orthodox majority, muslim countries and of course catholics and protestants.

All of these factors will play an essential role in tomorrow's election where Slovenia and Hungary are both EU member states, which means in case of their election the number of EU states in the UN Security Council would grow to 5 giving a third of this body. Religion is also an issue since Azerbaijan might just be the country elected if all 56 islamic countries support it in the UN General Assembly tomorrow. Finally let us not forget that it is a secret ballot after all so nothing is certain not even diplomatic ties that have long been bound.

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