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Germany, Canada, Portugal vie for Security Council seat

media German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle AFP/ VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO

Germany, Portugal and Canada are competing for two seats on the United Nations Security Council, as five non-permanent seats are changed on Tuesday. Three of the five non-permanent seats that will be changed have been chosen in advance of the vote, but the 24-member group of European states and Canada, Australia and New Zealand has not reached a consensus in advance.

India will take over from Japan for the Asian region, Colombia takes Mexico's seat for Latin America and South Africa takes the place of Uganda for Africa.

Germany is leading the running, and a victory would boost its campaign to become one of the permanent nations on the 15 member council.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle was in New York on Monday. Canada's Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon was also expected.

"We are running for the seat in order to pursue a policy of disarmament and peaceful conflict resolution," Westerwelle said. "We have strong arguments in our favour: our commitment to peace, development and climate change. On these issues Germany has an excellent reputation around the world."

He added that Germany wants reform of the United Nations and the Security Council.

Each non-permanent country stays on the council for two years, alongside the permanent powers: Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, who have the right to veto any council resolution.

Austria and Turkey are giving up the seats being replaced.

The new members will take up their places on the council from 1 January.

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