Germany joins the UN Security Council
On 12 October Germany was elected a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC). An intensive campaign which has been conducted since 2006 across the world has enabled Germany to gain an advantage over its rivals, Portugal and Canada. In the next two years Germany will intensify efforts for UN reform. It has been pushing for this in an attempt to be granted permanent membership of the UNSC.
Germany received over two thirds of the votes necessary to enter the new UNSC for 2011–2012 already in the first round of voting. 128 of the member states of the UN General Assembly supported Germany, which had put itself forward as a candidate to one of the two memberships allocated to Western countries in 2006 although the candidacies of Portugal and Canada had been known much earlier. The previous and the present governments have both been actively engaged in the campaign for Germany’s membership, in which they have emphasised their country’s contribution to the UN budget (third largest) and the participation of the German armed forces in numerous peacekeeping missions across the world. Since 2004, Germany has been pushing for a reform of the UN as a consequence of which it would become a permanent member of the Security Council. Permanent member status would also be granted to India, Japan, Brazil and one African country (South Africa, Nigeria or Egypt). The supporters of changes who, apart from Germany, will be members of the Security Council (for example, India and South Africa) for the next two years, will probably increase the pressure being put on the permanent members of the Council, without whose support a reform would be impossible. <krut>