Security Council Elections to Temporary Seats - October 26

Background: Security Council

The Security Council is one of the main organs of the United Nations, and consists of 15 members: 5 permanent members and 10 non-permanent members.  The 5 permanent members (China, Russia, France, UK, and the United States) all hold the power to veto any resolutions put forth.  The other 10 non-permanent members have the power to put forth and vote on resolutions.  These other members hold their seats for two years, and one group of five is rotated every year.  The Security Council elections are a critical moment in the United Nations, as member-states are given the opportunity to vote on and pass the most critical resolutions in the United Nations. 


Current Elections

This past week, the General Assembly elected the five newest members of the Security Council.  Replacing Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Gabon, Lebanon, and Nigeria, the five newest members will hold non-permanent seats on the Security Council.  Incoming countries will have the power to vote on resolutions made within the United Nation’s core body.           


The results of the elections are as follows:

Guatemala has replaced Brazil for the Latin American/Caribbean seat,

Morocco and Togo have replaced Gabon and Nigeria for the African seats,

Pakistan has replaced Lebanon for the Asian seat,          

And Azerbaijan has replaced Bosnia-Herzegovina for the Eastern European seat.


The greatest contestation was between Slovenia and Azerbaijan for the Eastern European seat.  As the election of Slovenia would have introduced the sixth EU country to the Security Council, many non-EU states were opposed to its election.  Twelve extra rounds of voting ensued, as neither Slovenia nor Azerbaijan were able to achieve the 2/3 majority needed to win.  Following the 16th round of voting, Slovenia resigned its candidature.  Uncontested, Azerbaijan won the seat, with 155 votes and 38 abstentions.


The five newly-elected Security Council members will begin their tenure January 1, 2012, and will be rotated out of office in 2013.