16 April 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says it is for United Nations Member States to decide which nations fill the non-permanent seats on the Security Council, dispelling any notion that he supports a particular candidate. “The Secretary-General is not in a position to endorse any nation for a Security Council seat. That matter is strictly in the hands of the Member States, although he wishes all candidates well in their pursuits,” stated a note issued to correspondents by his spokesperson.Comments Mr. Ban made to the Hungarian news outlet MTI were mischaracterized, the noted said, as voicing support for Hungary’s candidacy for a seat on the 15-member Council.Asked by the outlet if he thought Hungary had a good chance of becoming a member of the Council, Mr. Ban replied: “I hope you will continue to work with the Member States so that you will get enough votes in the General Assembly this fall.”“It should be clear that the Secretary-General is simply saying that candidates for Security Council seats are all qualified and need to work with other Member States in order to secure support for their candidacies,” the note clarified. To be elected as a non-permanent member of the Council, candidate countries need a two-thirds majority of ballots of Member States that are present and voting in the 192-member Assembly. The seats are allocated on the basis of geographical groupings. The five permanent members are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.