NEW YORK – Canada abruptly pulled out of its battle with Portugal for the one remaining seat on the influential United Nations Security Council, Tuesday.
Canada’s UN Ambassador John McNee made the surprise announcement after a second round of balloting in which Portugal received 113 votes and Canada just 78, both short of the 128 votes required for victory.
Germany claimed the other available seat with 128 of 191 ballots cast. Portugal came second with 122 votes, while Canada collected 114.
It was a stark shift from earlier in the day, when a smiling Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said he was “confident” that Canada’s efforts to rejoin the council will be successful.
Three other two-year terms on the UN’s most powerful body went uncontested to South Africa, India and Colombia.
Germany, Portugal and Canada have all been on the council previously — Germany most recently in 2003-2004, Canada in 1999-2000 and Portugal in 1997-98.