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UN elects Ghana, 4 others to serve on Security Council

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UN elects Ghana, 4 others to serve on Security Council

By Cecilia Ologunagba

The 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Friday elected Ghana, Gabon, Albania, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) non-permanent members of the UN Security Council for the term 2022- 2023.

According to the final tally, Ghana received 185 votes, Gabon 183, United Arab Emirates 179, Albania 175 and Brazil 181 votes.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) received three votes while Peru and Iran each obtained one.

The Security Council is a body of 15 members, five of whom are permanent and have a veto power: the United States, France, Russia and China.

The five newly elected will join India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway, the other non-permanent members.

Ahead of its successful bid, the UAE issued a statement promising to be “a constructive partner” in addressing some of the “critical challenges of our time.”

This included promoting gender equality, combating terrorism and extremism, and “harnessing the potential for innovation for peace”.

Viet Nam, for the Group of Small Island Developing States of Asia and the Pacific, known as the Asia-Pacific Group, left its seats vacant;

Also, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, for the Latin America and Caribbean Group, referred to as GRULAC; Estonia, for the Eastern European Group; and Niger and Tunisia within the framework of the African Group.

The candidates ran for the most part without opposition within their regions, with the exception of Gabon and Ghana, which were contested by the DRC for the two seats available in the African Group.

The five new members elected this year will begin their terms on January 1, 2021 and serve until December 31, 2023.

While Albania is the only state that has never served before, Brazil has served on the Council ten times, Gabon and Ghana three times each, and the United Arab Emirates once.

Before applying, each country must obtain the votes of two-thirds of the Member States present and voting at the General Assembly, to obtain a seat on the Council.

Broken down, this translates to a minimum of 129 votes, to win a seat if all 193 UN member states are present and voting.

Even if the candidates have been supported by their regional group and present themselves without opposition, a formal ballot is required.

Although unlikely, in the first round, a Member State that presents itself without a doubt might not garner the required votes in the Assembly and face a new challenger in subsequent rounds.

There have been, historically, several instances in which lengthy ballots were required to fill a contested seat.

Such situations have usually been resolved when one of the candidates withdraws or a compromise candidate is elected.

Exceptionally, the countries competing for a seat have decided to share the mandate among themselves. But since 1966, this has only happened once, in 2016, when Italy and the Netherlands agreed to split the 2017-2018 term.

Since 2010, 78% of races for Security Council seats have not been contested. (NAA)

(NAN)

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