Blog Link: New Zealand’s Security Council Bid.

New Zealand has received tacit US endorsement of its bid for a non-permanent member seat on the UN Security Council in 2015-16.  That may not be an entirely good thing, especially given the mix of players and circumstances involved.

7 thoughts on “Blog Link: New Zealand’s Security Council Bid.

  1. I’m not sure I agree with what you say about U.S. support being counterproductive. You appear to be saying that any country with U.S. support will necessarily fail to get BRIC endorsement, and that seems an overstatement. It’s particularly true of Russia and China. While they’re happy to associate themselves with the BRICs when it suits them they definitely do not tailor their policy at the UN to satisfy the rest of the BRIC group.

    Having said all that I do agree that the lack of coordination with Australia is potentially a total deal-breaker. It seems pretty inconceivable that both bids would succeed, and since it’s been longer since Oz was on the Security Council I think we can safely say it’s “their turn”.

    PS: You mention that Clark is positioning herself for December 2012 but I’ve seen nothing to indicate that Moon won’t just stay on. Generally Secretaries General only lose out on another erm if one of the “Big Five” vetoes them – China did so with Waldheim when he went for a third term, and the USA did for Bhoutros-Bhoutros Ghali when he tried to stick around in 1997. Do you think somebody’s going to do the same for Moon? I can’t imagine who.

  2. Hugh: Moon will get the second term as that is the custom. Clark needs to have her ducks in a row before the end of his second term, and that starts with cultivating support during his second term. After all, he is a de facto lame duck as soon as his second term starts on Jan 1, 2013.

    It is the overtly US supportive stance that makes the NZ bid problematic in the eyes of the BRICs and many others. Given who the opposition is, that could well sway votes towards a country, Turkey, that is both important in its own right and independent of the US and Europe on many major international issues. Add to the equation the other issues I mention and you get a no-go scenario.

  3. Yes, Turkey is a pretty tough competitor. To be honest, I’d almost say that it’s basically impossible for NZ to “beat” Turkey to a seat on the table, even without the Ozzy bid and the US endorsement complicating things.

    Is it possible that this bid, while formally an actual bid, is actually a “test-run” for a future bid, particularly if Australia doesn’t get in?

  4. Hugh: Given the apparent effort that NZ took to get the US endorsement, I reckon this was the real deal rather than a trial run. But it certainly can serve as such if the 2015-16 bid fails.

  5. Why are we bothering? Serious question, what benefits come from being on the Security Council? After all, it doesn’t matter how the non permanent states vote given that the big 5 can just veto anything they don’t like.

  6. @Alex: Well, even leaving aside the issue of soft power, sometimes the Big Five might all agree on something that the majority of the Security Council doesn’t.

  7. The irony of contesting the seat to represent the smaller nations, when there is no way we will say anything at all about the threat of China to the 200 mile economic zone of their neighbours for fear of offending a vital trade partner.

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