NEW YORK (AA) – The UN General Assembly will resume voting Thursday to elect the remaining slot of five rotating seats for the 2017-2018 term of the 15-member Security Council.
Four members have already been determined following a vote earlier this week but the Council faced a deadlock in electing one of the two seats allocated for the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) after the Netherlands and Italy failed to secure a two-thirds majority – or support of at least 128 countries -- needed to win.
Foreign ministers from both countries on Wednesday announced a deal to split the two-year term, with Italy set to hold the seat in 2017 and the Netherlands in 2018.
"We wanted to give a message of unity between EU countries. This is a win for the @UN,” Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni posted on Twitter.
The two countries each had 95 votes after five rounds of voting. The deal was struck after General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft called two breaks to the session Tuesday.
Ethiopia and Bolivia were elected by overwhelming majorities into seats designated for Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, respectively.
Kazakhstan beat out Thailand to win the only seat earmarked for the Asia-Pacific Group and Sweden won the first of the two WEOG seats.