Voters have cleared the way for this tiny principality to seek membership in the United Nations.

Residents voted 4,787-3,644 on Sunday against a proposed constitutional amendment that would have required a vote of the people before Liechtenstein could join an international body.The nation's regent, Prince Hans Adam, has been the leading advocate of a U.N. role for the principality of 26,000 people.

Addressing the opening session of the new Parliament, elected two weeks ago, the prince on Saturday urged legislators to act soon on the issue, saying U.N. membership was vital for the country. Liechtenstein is bounded by Austria and Switzerland.