Spain beats Turkey for a rotating seat on United Nations Security Council

Victory, which came in third round, is culmination of nine years of diplomatic campaigning

Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo during the UN vote.
Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo during the UN vote.JUSTIN LANE / EFE

Spain will sit on the United Nations Security Council for the fifth time in the history of the international organization’s top decision-making body.

On Thursday, the 193 members of the General Assembly selected Spain to hold one of the 10 available non-permanent seats for the 2015-2016 period.

Victory came in the third round of voting, when Turkey lost out to Spain 60-132.

“Spain is back!” proclaimed Foreign Minister José Manuel García Margallo after learning the news

For Spanish authorities, it was the culmination of nine years of diplomatic campaigning.

“Spain is back!” proclaimed Foreign Minister José Manuel García Margallo after learning the news.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said it was “excellent news” and proof of the trust that the international community places in Spain.

“It wasn’t easy, but Turkey can rest assured that from this moment on it can count on Spain’s loyal and constructive cooperation,” added García Margallo.

The minister admitted that after failing to secure the seat in the first round as expected, he began fearing the worst.

“It was the worst possible situation, but fortunately the difference with Turkey at that moment was very great. We had half an hour to work the room and remind people of their commitments.”

Margallo did not advance Spain’s agenda for the period, but said that “there is no taking steps back” on the ongoing conflict with Gibraltar.

“The Islamic State and Ebola are the hot topics right now, but there are others: Libya, Ukraine, reforming the Security Council, Palestine...” he added.

The campaign for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council began in 2005 under then-Spanish leader José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and was resumed by his successor, Mariano Rajoy.

The other rotating seats went to Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Venezuela, Tchad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania and Nigeria.