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Wikileaks: Finland Traded UN Votes With Israel

According to Wikileaks cables acquired by YLE, Finland has made deals to exchange votes with other countries in an effort to get a place on the United Nations Security Council. If Israel votes for Finland to join the Security Council in 2013, then Finland will vote for Israel to join in 2019.

Image: YLE

The US Embassy saw that Finland’s Afghanistan policy also affected their chances of joining the Security Council. Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb started Finland’s official campaign at a seminar titled "The Role of Small States in the United Nations Security Council" (UNSC) in March 2009, with the goal of joining the Security Council in 2013-14. Voting for members of the Security Council starts next year.

The American Embassy’s report on the seminar says that Finland was especially seeking support from the UN’s smaller states. The last word in the report hints that Stubb could not be described as any kind of UN-idealist: “His calculated appeal to small states aside, Stubb remains a committed Atlanticist.”

Votes for Finland had already started to arrive, according to the same cable.

“On the margins of the seminar, the Israeli DCM told PolOff (Political Officer) that Finland agreed to vote for Israel in 2019 for Israel's vote in 2012. He said that nothing had yet been agreed to on paper.”

In May 2009 Stubb prepared to meet Washington’s Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. The American Embassy in Helsinki told Clinton, among other things, that Stubb was leading Finland’s campaign to join the Security Council and may ask for American support for Finnish membership.

The US Embassy in Helsinki saw Finland’s Afghanistan policy as part of the campaign to join the Security Council. When Finns and Americans discussed expanding Finland’s Afghanistan operations at the end of 2008, the Embassy wrote the following comment in December: “The Finns also seek a seat on the UN Security Council in 2013-14, and realize that actions taken now and over the next few years will impact that candidacy."

See the original diplomatic cables (pdf files):

Subject: Finland: Foreign Minister on UN Reform, Campaign for UNSC Seat 2013-14

Subject: Finland to increase engagement in Afghanistan

Subject: Scenesetter for Foreign Minister Stubb's visit to Washington May 11, 2009

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