DIPLOMATIC

Scramble for Open Security Council Seat

Who would have thought the race for the United Nations Security Council could be so heated? The battle for the Western bloc’s nomination process has gotten interesting: Germany, Portugal, and Canada are all vying for just two seats. The Security Council is the U.N.’s most powerful body, and the 192-member General Assembly will meet tomorrow to pick the new countries via a secret ballot. Ten nonpermanent members are picked for two-year terms on a rotating basis, and five countries—the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, and China—have permanent membership. Countries are chosen based on their contributions to international peace and security, but this year’s selection process will more likely be about politics than anything else, such as the benefits of big countries as compared to small countries, or whether the Security Council wants to admit two European Union countries.