Sweden has been elected as a non-permanent member to the UN Security Council after the first ballot of voting on Tuesday.
Competing against Italy and the Netherlands for one of the two spots representing the “Western Europe and other countries” regional group, Sweden received more than the required two-thirds majority with 134 votes.
The seat is significant as Russia continues its aggressive saber rattling in the Nordic and Baltic Sea regions with numerous violations of sovereign airspace and maritime borders. Sweden has also become increasingly concerned with Russian military activity around the island of Gotland, where a second Russian owned gas pipeline is being built.
Sweden was the only country from the region to be elected in the first round.
Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallström flew to New York this week to boostthe Swedish campaign.
“We will deal with issues on the Security Council agenda on the basis of our values,” said Wallström in a statement after votes were counted. “The last time we had a seat on the Security Council, we were always the ones to emphasise international law and human rights. And that’s how it will be this time too. The situation in Sweden’s neighbourhood and the fact that our European security order is being challenged demonstrate the importance of respect for international rules and principles. This perspective will be central during our two-year term on the Security Council,” said Wallström.
Sweden’s Security Council two year term will begin January 1, 2017.