Written Answers. - UN Security Council.

Brian O'Shea

Question:

48 Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the progress to date of Ireland's campaign to seek election to the Security Council of the United Nations; and the number of states which have to date pledged support for Ireland's election. [25511/99]

Michael Ring

Question:

57 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will give an up-to-date report on Ireland's candidacy for a seat on the UN Security Council. [25489/99]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 48 and 57 together.

Ireland is seeking election to one of the two non-permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council which are designated for the "Western Europe and Others" group of states for the two year term 2001-02. The election will take place in October 2000. The election is being contested by three other candidates: Norway, Turkey and Italy. Successful candidates will require the support of two thirds of those states present and voting. In effect, this means that the support of around 125 states will be needed to secure election. The election is by secret ballot.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs has sought support for Ireland's candidacy on all appropriate occasions. In the past 14 months, he has personally discussed Ireland's candidacy with the For eign Ministers or Prime Ministers of approximately 100 member states of the United Nations. In September, he attended the 54th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York where, in addition to participating in the general debate, he had bilateral contact with a large number of Foreign Ministers or Prime Ministers. Since then, the Minister has raised the matter with a number of other Governments, including some in East Africa which he recently visited.
The Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and other members of the Government, as well as a number of Ministers of State, have also promoted the Irish candidacy in their contacts with other administrations, where this was appropriate.
As the Minister has indicated previously, this is a strongly contested election. He is reluctant to indicate the exact level of support committed to Ireland at this stage. Let me say simply that the Government is gratified by the broad support our candidacy has attracted.