The President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, spoke today of Chile’s election with 186 votes to serve as a non-permanent member on the UN Security Council. "A few moments ago, and with an ample majority, Chile was elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2014-2015 term," the President said in an announcement from La Moneda Palace.
He explained that the UN Security Council "is the most important organ within the UN, responsible for maintaining and safeguarding peace and security in the world. It is the only organ that can authorize the use of force, if it is strictly necessary." He added that "the Security Council has 15 members in total; five permanent members, the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China; and ten non-permanent members which, from January 1 next year, will include Chile."
President Piñera highlighted that Chile "was elected with an overwhelming majority, the largest that Chile has ever received in a Security Council election. This is without doubt an act of recognition and confidence in our country for which I am sincerely grateful."
In this respect, he thanked "the 186 countries for supporting and putting their trust in Chile. I can assure you that we assume this charge with tremendous responsibility and great commitment."
He explained that "the key tasks for the Security Council to address over the next two years involve many countries around the world. There are in fact, on the Security Council’s agenda, matters pending in Latin America, particularly the case of Haiti, there are matters pending in relation to chemical weapons, as is the case with Syria, and I would like to say how much I appreciate and value the agreement that was reached to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria and throughout the world."
He added that "the Security Council will also have to deal with matters relating to nuclear armament plans in countries such as Iran and North Korea, and a series of situations concerning human rights abuses, war crimes, genocide or ethnic cleansing in African countries, as is the case with Sudan, Somalia, Congo, Mali, Liberia, Ivory Coast and the Central African Republic, among others."
President Piñera emphasized that "over the next two years, during which Chile will have two governments, the current government and the government that will take office in March 2014, Chile’s actions will be grounded, as always, on a policy of State that is based on the same principles that have always inspired and guided Chile’s actions in international policy."
Of these principles, he highlighted "firstly, respect for international law; respect for validly signed and enforceable treaties; the protection of democracy, liberties and human rights at all times, in all places and in all circumstances; the application of the principles of non-intervention, the peaceful resolution of disputes and the legal equality of States." He added that "what this means is that Chile’s actions in the Security Council will be grounded on principles that are a fundamental part of what has been, is and will continue to be, Chile’s foreign policy."
Modernization of the United Nations, the IMF and the World Bank
In his statement to the press, President Piñera reiterated that "Chile believes that multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which were created in 1945 at the end of the Second World War, and which were appropriate to the reality of that time, are now in need of far-reaching reforms and modernization to make them more representative of the world we live in today."
He explained that "this is why Chile is supporting a major reform of the United Nations Security Council, so that it can be more representative, permitting the participation of all parties in a more unbiased and equitable way."
On this point, he said that "Chile supports the incorporation of countries such as Germany, Japan, Brazil and India as permanent members, which on account of their size and importance should be on this Council. We also support increasing the number of members, so that continents like Africa can have fairer representation."
He added that "Chile is also in favor of changing the Security Council’s voting system with a view to eliminating the right to veto, on the principle of the legal equality of States, and moving towards a system whereby major decisions are made by qualified majorities, so that members of this Council are more fairly and properly represented." He explained that "in the interim, while the right to veto remains, Chile has requested, and I would like to reiterate this request, that the five permanent members who have the right to veto, refrain from using it in cases of crimes against humanity, war crimes, situations of genocide or ethnic cleansing, which sadly and unfortunately we have witnessed in recent times."
Similarly, the President said that "the major problems facing the world today, for example, global warming, climate change, terrorism, arms trafficking and human trafficking, can no longer be resolved by individual countries. The only way we can effectively tackle them is on a multilateral level, i.e. by joining forces to combat these crimes and confront these problems together."
In this respect he reiterated that "it is very important that we strengthen the world’s capacity to act in an effective, united and timely way to resolve problems that have been knocking at our door for some time now and which urgently need a more effective and united response from the entire world."
Finally, President Piñera stressed that "as a member of the United Nations Security Council, Chile will unquestionably make every effort to ensure that our global organizations are up to the task of taking on the challenges and problems that the world faces today."
Election of five new non-permanent members of the Security Council (2014-2015)
The election in New York started at 11 a.m. Chilean time. Chile was represented by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Alfredo Moreno, and the Chilean Ambassador to the United Nations, Octavio Errázuriz.
To be elected, candidate countries require two-thirds of the votes of the member states present and voting (129 votes if all members are present). The other candidates were Saudi Arabia (one seat for the Asia Pacific Group), Chad and Nigeria (two seats for the African Group) and Lithuania (one seat for Eastern Europe).
Chile was the only candidate from the Latin American and Caribbean Group and was endorsed on April 29 this year with the support of all the other countries in the region. With this election, Chile will hold a seat on the United Nations Security Council from January 1, 2014 until December 31, 2015.
This is the fifth time that Chile has been a member of the Security Council, having been elected for the 1952 – 1953, 1961 – 1962, 1996 – 1997 and 2003 – 2004 terms.
There were lengthy preparations in the run up to the election to demonstrate the merits of Chile’s candidacy. These included meetings held by Chile’s UN Ambassador Octavio Errázuriz with almost all the other member states; and the recent bilateral meetings with various Heads of State held by President Sebastián Piñera and the Foreign Affairs Minister Alfredo Moreno, during last month’s visit to the 68th UN General Assembly.
Chile has actively participated in United Nations Peace Keeping Missions and is currently involved in the following missions: India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), the Middle East (UNTSO), Cyprus (UNFICYP), Bosnia Herzegovina (EUFOR – ALTHEA) and Haiti (MINUSTAH), which has been the mission Chile has been most involved in.
Chile has been a member of the United Nations since the organization was created in 1945. As one of the founding members, it has participated actively in the UN’s various agencies and bodies.
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