Sept. 16, 2015 – Heads of states seeking Security Council seats would normally devote considerable time during this month’s high-level segment of the General Assembly to lobbying for votes but the candidates vying for seats for 2016-17 in October’s elections are all running unopposed.
Among those seeking seats next month are Ukraine, which will replace Lithuania in the Eastern European group.
A report last week from the UN human rights office said more than 8,000 people have been killed since April 2014 due to the conflict with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.
In July this year, Russia vetoed a draft Council resolution that would have established an international tribunal to prosecute those responsible for the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine.
Ukraine President Poroshenko and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will both be in New York at the end of the month to address the General Assembly.
Also running unopposed for a seat in 2016/17 is Egypt which will occupy one of the two seats being vacated by Chad and Nigeria – Senegal will take over the other. Egypt last served in 1996/97 while Senegal served a two-year term in 1988/89.
Uruguay will take over the Latin American seat currently held by Chile. This will be just its second time ever serving on the Council, having last served a two-year term in 1965/66. Uruguay is the top Latin America troop contributing country to UN peacekeeping operations with some 3,000 blue helmets deployed.
Japan will return to the Council for the eleventh time in 2016/17, having last served in 2009/10. Bangladesh announced earlier this month that it was withdrawing from the race for the Asian seat currently held by Jordan. Japan is the second biggest contributor to the UN budget.
Elections for 2017-18 will take place in June 2016, in order to give elected countries more time to prepare. Among those running are Netherlands, Italy and Sweden for two seats in the Western Europe and Others group currently held by New Zealand and Spain.
The current elected members of the Council, with end of term date, are as follows:
- Angola (2016)
- Chad (2015)
- Chile (2015)
- Jordan (2015)
- Lithuania (2015)
- Malaysia (2016)
- New Zealand (2016)
- Nigeria (2015)
- Spain (2016)
- Venezuela (2016)
- Denis Fitzgerald @denisfitz