New members elected to UNSC

19 June 2020

Mexico, India, Ireland, Norway and Kenya have been elected to take up a two-year term on the United Nations Security Council.

Canada lost out to Ireland and Norway in the council's "Western European and others" group. India and Mexico's uncontested bids for the Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean seats were approved. Kenya and Djibouti failed to gain enough support in the first round. Kenya won the Africa spot in the second round with 129 votes against 69.

Candidates need to win the support of more than two-thirds of the UN General Assembly.

The United Nations Security Council has 15 members: five permanent members — China, France, Russian Federation, the United States, and the United Kingdom — and 10 non-permanent members who are elected by the General Assembly. The non-permanent members are elected for two-year terms, so every year, the General Assembly elects five non-permanent members out of the total 10.

The current non-permanent members of the Security Council are Belgium, Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia, and South Africa, all of whose terms end this year; and Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia, and Vietnam, whose terms end in 2021.

The new members will begin their term at the beginning of 2021, and will hold the position until the end of 2022.

Turkish diplomat Volkan Bozkir was elected President of the forthcoming session of the UN General Assembly in a vote held on Wednesday.

Indonesia has secured a seat on the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for the 2021 to 2023 term. ECOSOC serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to Member States and the United Nations system.

In a statement President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa congratulated the newly elected members.

“As South Africa’s two-year term will come to an end on 31 December 2020, we will continue to work closely with the existing and newly elected members of the Security Council, in ensuring collective multilateral action to maintain international peace and security,” said President Ramaphosa.

South Africa wishes the elected members a successful tenure on the Security Council and assures them of its support in resolving regional and global conflicts, addressing the root causes of conflict and promoting inclusive political dialogue and peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with the United Nations Charter and International Law.

South Africa remains deeply concerned about the emergence of unilateralism and its attendant threat to the International rules-based system. South Africa therefore reaffirms the centrality of the United Nations Charter and the primacy of the United Nations Security Council on issues of international peace and security, the statement said.