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Research Report

TAKING STOCK, MOVING FORWARD: Report to the Foreign Ministry of Finland on the 2012 Elections to the United Nations Security Council

International Peace Institute
Copyright Date: Apr. 1, 2013
Pages: 31

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. 1-1)
  2. (pp. 2-2)
  3. (pp. 3-3)
  4. (pp. 4-7)
  5. (pp. 8-8)

    Elections to non-permanent seats at the United Nations Security Council took place on October 18, 2012. Australia, Finland, and Luxembourg were candidates for the two seats allocated to the Western European and Others Group¹ (WEOG).

    Luxembourg had announced its candidacy to the Security Council in 2001, Finland in 2002, and Australia in 2008. Luxembourg had previously never served on the Security Council. Finland had served twice (1969-1970 and 1989-1990). Australia had previously served four times—the last one was in 1985-1986—and had been an unsuccessful candidate in 1996 when it lost to Portugal.²

    On October 18, 2012, Australia was...

  6. (pp. 9-23)

    The analysis of the campaign for the 2012 elections to the Security Council can be structured around the following dimensions:

    1. themes of the campaign,

    2. strategies chosen by the candidates,

    3. resources they mobilized for their campaigns,

    4. tactics,

    5. ideologies that shaped the context of the elections and the attitudes of the candidates, and

    6. ethical dilemmas they faced.

    All three candidates developed similar campaign themes that emphasized their respective contributions to the work of the United Nations.

    Finland underlined its participation in UN peace operations (over 50,000 Finnish peacekeepers have served since 1956), its contributions to UN funds and programs, and its generous...

  7. (pp. 23-30)

    The many interviews conducted for this survey offered opportunities to identify lessons learned from the 2012 campaign which can be of use for Finland but also for its close partners of the Nordic states and of the European Union, as well as for other UN members. Some of these lessons are directly related to elections. Others deal with larger issues and go beyond the electoral context at the UN.

    Finland should remain engaged in the work of the United Nations and on the international scene. In the wake of its defeat at the Security Council election, Finland might be tempted...

  8. (pp. 31-31)

    The present study was undertaken by the International Peace Institute (IPI) at the request of the Foreign Ministry of Finland. Its objective is to provide an independent assessment and lessons learned of the 2012 elections for the WEOG seats at the Security Council.

    IPI interviewed more than 50 delegates and senior officials from all regional groups in member states missions in New York and in capitals, as well as a few independent experts. For approximately 30 of these interviews, IPI used a semi-structured questionnaire—matching the headings of this report—which allowed new ideas to be brought up during the...