Ukraine, Japan face tense diplomacy as UN Council newcomers


United Nations: Ukraine and Japan are among five countries set to win election to the UN Security Council today, taking seats alongside Russia and China, countries with which they have tense relations.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said Kiev will “definitely not be conciliatory” towards Russia at the top diplomatic table even as a fragile truce in east Ukraine is taking hold.

Egypt, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay are running unopposed for five non-permanent seats on the 15-member council after regional groupings put them forward as their choice.

Despite the regional backing, the five countries must still lobby hard to garner support, needing two-thirds of votes from the 193-nation General Assembly to win the seat.

Voting gets under way at the General Assembly around 10:00 am (1400 GMT) with results expected later in the day.

The newcomers will begin their two-year stint on January 1, replacing Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania and Nigeria.

One of the most experienced Security Council members, Japan, will be taking its seat for the 11th time as it is locked in an island dispute with China and bristles at Beijing’s global role.

Taking a tough line on North Korea, Japan is expected to raise concerns about the Pyongyang regime at the council even though China sought to block discussion about human rights when it came up in December.

“For Japan and Ukraine, sitting on the council is a great advantage. It provides leverage because it provides access to this tremendously kinetic stage,” said David Malone, rector of the United Nations University.



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