UNITED NATIONS (PA) – The United Nations elected five countries to join the powerful United Nations Security Council on Friday without suspense as all were unopposed – Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Albania, Ghana and Gabon.
Winning a seat on the 15-member Security Council is seen as an achievement for many countries as it gives them a strong voice on international peace and security issues ranging from conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Mali and Myanmar. to the nuclear threat posed by North Korea and Iran; and attacks from extremist groups such as Islamic State and al-Qaida.
This will be Albania’s first time on the council and Brazil’s eleventh time, which will bind Japan as the country elected to the council for the most two-year terms. There had been a three-way race for two African seats, but the Congo retired on Monday.
General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir announced the results of the secret ballot and congratulated the winner.
The five new members of the Council will begin their terms on January 1, replacing five countries whose two-year terms end on December 31 – Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam.
They will join the five permanent council members with veto power – the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom and France – and the five countries elected last year: India, the ‘Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway.
Before COVID-19, countries applying for Security Council seats often invited ambassadors for lavish visits to their countries, held dinners and receptions with entertainment, and sent senior government officials from around the world to lobby for votes. . But the pandemic has reduced all of that since March 2020.
Last year, the election of new board members took place under drastically different voting procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of bringing together the ambassadors of the 193 UN member countries in the General Assembly Hall for the elections, a new procedure has been adopted. A few ambassadors arrived at the assembly during spaced times to avoid a large gathering and to ensure social distancing, and cast ballots in a large ballot box not only for new members of the Security Council but for others. posts.
In recent months, the assembly has met in person, with just two authorized diplomats from each country. Thus, on Friday, the ambassadors were able to deposit their ballots one by one in a large ballot box.
Even if a country runs unopposed, it must get the votes of two-thirds of the member states that voted to win a seat on the council.
In Friday’s poll, Ghana received 185 votes, Gabon 183 votes, Brazil 181 votes, the United Arab Emirates 179 votes and Albania 175 votes.