The vote trade

From Siri Agrell’s interview with Sichan Siv, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

We’re running against Germany and Portugal. How do you like our odds?

These three countries have very good credentials. Canada, you’ve been involved in peacekeeping operations from the beginning. One benefit for Canada is that it’s not a European country. Although it belongs to Europe in terms of voting, people can argue that you have the U.K. and France already as permanent members and you should not have two more Europeans on the council. That would work in your favour. I’m sure the Canadian delegation would use that. Probably most people will go with Germany because Germany has been a huge benefactor to the UN and also because they have a very international aid program. That doesn’t mean that you are buying votes, but for poorer countries, that is a factor.

Our government has suggested that if we lose, it will be the fault of our Official Opposition. Do voting members look at the internal politics of the country? Do they care about our domestic issues?

No. Developing countries will look at what we call the neutral agreements, who supports each other on the UN level. If I vote for you, would you vote for me? On that note, I want to mention that the United States is the only country that does not trade votes.

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