The 193 members of the United Nations General Assembly today elected Sweden, Bolivia, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan to serve on the world body’s Security Council for a period of two years, starting from 1 January 2017.
After rounds of voting at UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday, only one non-permanent Council seat remains to be filled. Italy and the Netherlands had been vying for the remaining seat, but the voting yielded no clear winner. The two countries then suggested sharing the two-year term, each with a one-year period, with a decision on this proposal postponed to Wednesday.
Under the UN Charter, the Security Council has the primary responsibility for international peace and security, with all UN Member States required to comply with Council decisions. The Council’s 10 non-permanent seats are allocated according to a rotation pattern set by the Assembly in 1963, to ensure a proportionate representation over time from the different parts of the world: five from African and Asian States; one from Eastern European States; two from Latin American States; and two from Western European and Other States.
At today’s election, the General Assembly members voted by secret ballot for five seats divided by geographical grouping – three from Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, one from Eastern Europe, and one from Latin America and the Caribbean.
Bolivia and Ethiopia were chosen by their regional groups and had no competitors. Kazakhstan won the seat reserved for Asia Pacific against Thailand, while Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden had competed for two seats for Western Europe.
Wide view of the General Assembly Hall while ballots are being collected for the election of new non-permanent members of the Security Council for two-year terms starting on 1 January 2017. UN Photo/Manuel Elias