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Words in the News
Wednesday 05 February 2003
Small nations in the spotlight over Iraq
UN security council The US will probably soon ask the UN Security Council to vote for a resolution supporting war against Iraq. The US will need 9 votes out of 15 to get the resolution it wants. Does this mean some Council members will come under pressure to vote in favour? This report from Greg Barrow.
Listen Listen to the story
Although there's no clear evidence that political pressures are being applied yet, some of the council's smaller nations like Guinea, Cameroon and Angola are bracing themselves. 43" No single nation wants to be put in the spotlight as the swing vote that could give the United States the nine votes it requires to get a new resolution through.

In the run-up to the last Gulf War, intense pressure was applied to nations that held important votes. Non-permanent members like Yemen, that voted against a key Security Council resolution authorising force against Iraq, found themselves punished economically by the US and had aid packages cut off. Others were rewarded with new aid initiatives for their 'yes' votes.

Greg Barrow, BBC
Listen Listen to the words
pressures are being applied
if you apply pressure, you try to make someone do something
the council
The Security Council is a UN committee which exists to settle international disputes
bracing themselves
preparing themselves for something difficult
in the spotlight
if you are in the spotlight, everyone is watching you
swing vote
here, a country which has not yet chosen how to vote
get a new resolution through
if you get a resolution through, you ask for a yes-vote and get it
In the run-up to
in the time just before
held important votes
if you hold a vote, you are allowed to vote
officially allowing
cut off
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