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2015 Session,
24th Meeting (AM)

Secret Ballot Required in Economic and Social Council for Asia-Pacific Nominees to UN-Women’s Board, with 12 More Elected by Acclamation, as Segment Concludes

Concluding the first of its Coordination and Management meetings for 2015, the Economic and Social Council today elected 17 members to the Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality for three-year terms, beginning 1 January 2016.

Those elected by acclamation included Comoros, Gabon, Liberia, Namibia and Tunisia (African States); Croatia and Russian Federation (Eastern European States); Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana and Panama (Latin-American and Caribbean States); and Luxembourg and Germany (Western European and other States).

Elected by secret ballot, requested by the United States, for members from Asia-Pacific States were Iran, Pakistan, Samoa, Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates, which had been endorsed by that group.

As questions about the use of that voting procedure had held up elections to the Executive Board yesterday, the Council Secretary explained that recent past practice had shown that ballots had listed the candidates when that number exceeded the number of seats to be filled.  However, “there is very little practice” for that when the number of candidates matched the number of vacancies.

Therefore, she said, as a number of delegations had requested that the slate of candidates endorsed by the Asia-Pacific States be included, arrangements had been made to do so for today’s secret ballot.  Delegates had the option of selecting up to five candidates from that list, as well as adding an eligible candidate from the Asia-Pacific States, as long as the total number on the ballot did not exceed five.

Those countries eligible for election to the Board, in addition to those endorsed by the Asia-Pacific States were Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Fiji, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi, Singapore, Solomon, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Viet Nam and Yemen.  That list excluded the Board’s current members from the Group:  Bangladesh, China, India, Japan and Republic of Korea, whose terms would expire 31 December 2016.

With the resignation from the Board by members from the Western European and other States category, of Israel, Italy and Portugal, effective 31 December 2015, the Council elected by acclamation Denmark, Spain and Canada to complete their terms, respectively, beginning 1 January 2016 and expiring 31 December 2016.

Also resigning from the Board, effective 31 December 2015, were Denmark, Spain and the United States.  Those were members of the Contributing Group category, comprising the top 10 providers of voluntary core contributions to the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), the Group was allocated a total of four seats on the Board.  To complete the terms of the three resigning, the Council elected, also by acclamation, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands, to serve from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016.

Also today, the Council elected Sweden to the Governing Council of the United Nations Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) for a term beginning on the date of election and expiring 31 December 2015 to fill one of five vacancies from Western European and other States.  It postponed the election to fill the four remaining vacancies, of which two would expire 31 December 2016 and two would expire 31 December 2018, with all to begin on the date of election.

The Economic and Social Council will next meet at a time and date to be announced.

For information media. Not an official record.