The 193-member UN General Assembly held elections for five non-permanent members of the Security Council in the iconic General Assembly hall.
Estonia, Niger, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam were Friday elected as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council for a two year term beginning January 1, 2020. The 193-member UN General Assembly held elections for five non-permanent members of the Security Council in the iconic General Assembly hall. In the African and Asia Pacific category, Vietnam got 192 out of 193 votes, followed by Niger and Tunisia (191 votes each). In the Latin America and Caribbean category, St. Vincent and the Grenadines was elected after having secured 185 votes.
El Salvador in the group got only 6 votes. In the Eastern European States category, Estonia got 111 votes while Romania got 78. Georgia and Latvia got only one vote each, eliciting laughs and jeers from the UN Member States present in the General Assembly hall. Since a Member State had to get the required 2/3 majority of 128 votes to be elected, a round of restricted ballot was undertaken to select a winning State from among Estonia and Romania, who had got the largest number of votes in the previous ballot. After the first round of restricted ballot, Estonia was elected after having got 132 votes.
The Security Council, the most powerful organ of the UN, has 15 members – five permanent members China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and 10 non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly. Currently the 10 non-permanent members are Belgium, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Germany, Indonesia, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and South Africa.
The two-year terms of Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Kuwait, Peru and Poland will end in 2019 and the newly elected members Estonia, Niger, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam will take their seats at the Council’s horse-shoe table on January 1, 2020.
India has been leading efforts for decades to reform the Security Council saying it rightly deserves a place as a permanent member of the Council, which in its current form does not represent the geo-political realities of the 21st Century. India had last served as a non-permanent member of the Council for the year 2011-12 under then Indian Ambassador to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri. India’s former Permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Kumar Mukerji had told PTI that the country will contest the elections for a non-permanent member seat of the Security Council for the 2021-2022 term, preparations for which will now soon begin.