Greece gets onto Security Council

For only the second time in its history, Greece has been awarded a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council after a vote in New York yesterday. Greece joined Argentina, Denmark, Japan and Tanzania as the five countries which will take up seats on the Security Council from January 1 next year until the end of 2006. They will help make up the 10 non-permanent members that sit alongside the five permanent members on the council. Greece received 187 votes from the 189 UN member states, well above the two-thirds majority (126 votes) that was needed. The last, and only, time Greece held a seat on the Security Council was from January 1952 to December 1953. «This has happened for the first time in 52 years and is a particular honor for our country. It confirms the authority Greece has abroad and the trust which the international community places in it,» said Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis. He identified the resolution of crises, combating international terrorism and consolidating stability and world peace as key matters of concern for the Security Council. Molyviatis, however, did not shy away from admitting that Greece would use the opportunity to focus on issues that were immediately relevant to it, such as the Balkans and Cyprus. «In close cooperation with the other Security Council members and with respect to international law, we will focus our attention and efforts on unstable areas but, naturally, also on our wider area, in which our country’s interest is self-evident,» the minister said.