Dec. 28, 2015 – When Jordan appointed Dina Kawar as its representative to the United Nations in the middle of 2014, it meant that six of the 15 countries serving on the Security Council were represented by women.
When the body convenes on Jan. 1, the United States’ Samantha Power will be the only female ambassador on the 2016 Security Council.
The departure of Argentina, represented by Maria Cristina Perceval and Luxembourg, represented by Sylvie Lucas, from the Council at the at the end of 2014, saw the number decrease to four as their replacements for a two-year term, Spain and Venezuela, were both represented by men.
This year sees three more countries represented by women on the Council ending their terms and being replaced by countries with male ambassadors.
Jordan, along with Lithuania, represented by Raimonda Murmokaitė, and Nigeria, represented by Joy Ogwu, all end their two year terms on Dec. 31 and will be replaced by Japan, Ukraine and Senegal.
The other new countries on the Council in 2016, Egypt and Uruguay are also represented by men.
Even though the United States is a permanent member of the Council, Power’s tenure will likely not last for too long beyond the end of 2016 as a new president will be elected in the US in November and will in all likelihood appoint a new envoy sometime in early 2017.
Power is the fourth female envoy appointed to represent the US at the United Nations, following Jeanne Kirkpatrick (1981-85), Madeline Albright (1993-97) and Susan Rice (2009-2013).
Chile’s Ana Figueoa was the first woman to serve on the Security Council in 1952.
About 40 of the UN’s 193 member states are represented by women, with Australia, Colombia, Greece, Hungary and Pakistan all appointing female diplomats this year to represent their respective countries at the United Nations.
Among the tasks of the Security Council in 2016 will be agreeing on a candidate to replace Ban Ki-moon as secretary-general. In a letter circulated to member states earlier this month, countries were specifically asked to consider presenting women as candidates.
- Denis Fitzgerald