Results of the 2015 ECOSOC Elections

21 October 2015 

On the 21st of October, 2015, the UN General Assembly elected 18 members of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for the 2016-2018 term.  Following the Council’s regional rotation scheme, these included five members of the African group, four from the Asia-Pacific group, two from the Eastern European group, three from the Latin American and Caribbean group, and four from the Western European and Others group.  

Calling the session to order, President of the General Assembly Mogens Lykketoft informed delegates that each of the regional groups had endorsed candidates for ECOSOC, and listed the member states endorsed by each region.  In every regional group, the number of candidates endorsed was equal to the number of seats allotted to the region. 

Members of ECOSOC must be elected by a two-thirds majority. In the event of a tie, the Assembly would proceed to second round of voting restricted to candidates with equal number of votes. However, in this instance, voting was completed in a single round, as the General Assembly approved the candidates endorsed by the regional groups.  Afghanistan, Algeria, Australia, Belgium, Chile, the Czech Republic, Guyana, Italy, Iraq, Lebanon, Moldova, Nigeria, Peru, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, the United States, and Vietnam were elected to serve on ECOSOC for the 2016-2018 term. 

According to the General Assembly’s rules of procedure, member states are eligible for immediate re-election to ECOSOC following the expiration of their term.  During today’s session, Australia, Italy, South Africa, and the United States were re-elected as members of the Council. Notably, the United States has served longer on the Council than any other member, having first been elected in 1945. 

In addition to these changes, Ireland will replace Austria on the Council at the end of 2015 as part of an internal agreement within the Western European and Others Group.  In recent years, WEOG members have occasionally agreed to divide ECOSOC terms between two member states.   

Notably, these elections will be the last ECOSOC elections to be held in the fall.  In accordance with General Assembly resolution 68/307, which was adopted in 2014, elections will now be held six months ahead of the start of term in order to allow for a longer transitional period.  Elections for the 2017-2019 term will be held in spring 2016.