Spanish Foreign minister, yesterday at UN headquarters.
Eduardo González. Madrid
Nine years after the presentation of the candidacy, after an intense lobby work at every level, and a long electoral and informative campaign valued at a million euros, Spain has finally the support of the General Assembly of the UN to be part of the Security Council during the two-year period of 2015-2016.
“We won!! Spain gets the non-permanent position at the UNSC for 2015-2016!”. These were the first words published by the Spanish delegation on the Twitter account of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation immediately after the announcement of Spain’s victory in the third voting with 132 votes, compared to the 60 votes of its competitor, Turkey. The other candidate of the Western European and Others Group, New Zealand, won the seat in the first round, with 145 votes.
In statements made to The Diplomat in Spain, the socialist spokesperson of the European Union Committee, Juan Moscoso, expressed yesterday the “joy” his party was experiencing because of the entry in the Security Council and he declared that the PSOE has supported it “with complete loyalty and sense of State”. Nevertheless, Moscoso warned that, from now on, socialists are going to keep putting pressure on the Government, whose foreign policy, “in the last three years, has not been up to the standard expected from a country such as Spain” and has not been sufficiently sharp or committed” due, precisely, to its campaign to be part of the Security Council.
For Spain, this will be its fifth time at the Security Council. The only unsuccessful attempt in the history of the Spanish candidacies was that of 1956, when the country had just joined the UN (Spain has been a member of the organization since 14 December 1955). Since then, our country has belonged to the United Nations Security Council for four periods of two years each (1969-1970, 1981-1982, 1993-1994 and 2003-2004), with intervals of ten and twelve years in between.
The PSOE celebrates the victory of the Government, whose foreign policy “is not up to the standard expected from Spain”
Although Spain does not have a completely independent foreign policy, being conditioned by its membership of the European Union and the NATO, the fact of being part of the Security Council helps increasing the international leadership of the member States, which get the possibility of having a say in relevant issues related to international security and see their influence increased on an international scale, both facing the great western powers and the countries of the Third World.
Its presence at the Security Council will involve Spain in the great international debates, such as that about the possible international military offensive against the Islamic State of Iraq and Sirya (ISIS), which will face the more than predictable veto of Russia and China. During its last period, Spain got completely involved, without nuances, in favour of the intervention, led by the United States, against Iraq.
Besides, during this next two-year period, Spain will share with France and the United Kingdom the task of informing the rest of the EU at the specific meetings being held every week about urgent matters of international interest. Let us not forget that the Security Council will have to review the peace plan for the Sahara in April 2015.
Furthermore, Spain’s entry into the Security Council coincides with a particularly poor stage as regards the Spanish presence in positions of responsibility in the system of the United Nations, despite of being the sixth contributing country in the organization.
At the moment, the only Spanish holding relevant positions in the UN are Bernardino León, special representative for Libya; Joan Clos, executive director UN-Habitat; Arancha González, executive director of the International Trade Centre (ITC); and Alfredo Pérez de Armiñán y de la Serna, assistant director-general for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).