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ECOSOC Elections 2014

20 October 2014

     The Economic and Social Council elections for the 2015-2017 term are scheduled to take place on the 29th of October, 2014.  The General Assembly will elect 18 new members of the Economic and Social Council, filling the seats previously occupied by Austria, Belarus, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Japan, Lesotho, Libya, Nigeria, and Portugal.  The newly elected states will begin their terms on the 1st of January, 2015.

Results of the 2014 Security Council Elections

16 October 2014

At 10:00 am this morning, the General Assembly began its elections for five non-permanent members of the Security Council.  After three rounds of voting, Angola, Malaysia, Venezuela, New Zealand, and Spain were elected to serve two-year terms. 

As expected, Angola, Malaysia, and Venezuela were elected easily after the first round of voting.  The three members ran on “clean slates,” with no real challenge from other states in their respective regions. 

Human Rights Council Elections 2014

9 October 2014


     On October 21, the General Assembly will elect 15 members of the Human Rights Council. The newly elected members will serve on the Council for the 2015-2017 term, replacing Austria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Chile, Congo, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kuwait, Peru, the Philippines, and Romania.

     Several member states have announced their interest in a seat on the Human Rights Council. Ghana, Congo, Portugal, Netherlands, Albania, Latvia, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Bolivia, Indonesia, Qatar, and Bangladesh have submitted voluntary pledges to the President of the General Assembly, which describe their records on human rights issues and propose ways in which they aim to improve their performance.  GA resolution 60/251 , the founding resolution of the HRC, encourages member states to take these pledges into consideration when casting their votes.  Media sources  have reported that Thailand will also run for a seat. 

Security Council Elections for the 2015-17 Term

 30 September 2014

On the 16th of October 2014 the General Assembly will elect five nonpermanent members to the Security Council for the 2015-2017 term. The newly elected members will replace Argentina, Rwanda, the Republic of Korea, Australia, and Luxembourg, whose terms will end this year.

The known candidates from each region are listed below:

  • Angola (African Group)
  • Malaysia (Asia-Pacific Group)
  • New Zealand (WEOG)
  • Spain (WEOG)
  • Turkey (WEOG)
  • Venezuela (GRULAC)

     With only one known candidate each from the Africa, Latin America and Caribbean, and Asia-Pacific groups, it is anticipated that Angola, Venezuela, and Malaysia will be elected to the Security Council without contest.  However, three states from the Western European group (New Zealand, Spain, and Turkey) have announced their interest in Western Europe’s two available seats. 

Sam Kutesa: President of the 69th General Assembly

NEW YORK: 30 September 2014

     With the start of the 69th General Assembly this month, Mr. Sam Kahamba Kutesa began his term as President of the General Assembly. Mr. Kutesa, the Foreign Minister of Uganda, was selected by the African Union. The General Assembly approved his appointment on the 11th of June.  

     Mr.  Kutesa assumed the presidency despite some controversy over a February Ugandan law, which legislates prison sentences for homosexual activity.  Opponents argued that as a leading minister in a government which criminalizes homosexuality, Kutesa's appointment would contradict the principles of the United Nations.    

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein is the New UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

 NEW YORK: 8 September 2014

     On the 1st of September, Mr. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein assumed his duties as the seventh United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The General Assembly approved his appointment on the 16th of June.  

     A Jordanian citizen, Mr. Al-Hussein is the first Asian, Arab, or Muslim to be selected for the position.  Mr. Al-Hussein served as Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations from 2000 to 2007, and again from 2010 until 2014.  From 2007 to 2010, he represented Jordan as Permanent Representative to the United States.

Secretary-General accepting applications for High Commissioner for Human Rights

In a vacancy announcement  posted to the Secretary-General’s website this week, it was announced that the Secretary-General is seeking applicants to fill the position of High Commissioner for Human Rights at the Under-Secretary-General level. In accordance with General Assembly resolution 48/141, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is appointed by the Secretary-General and approved by the General Assembly, with due regard to geographical rotation for a fixed term of four years with a possibility of one renewal for another fixed term of four years.

General Assembly to hold Extraordinary Election to Security Council

On 6 December at 10:00am EST the General Assembly will hold an extraordinary election to fill the seat refused by Saudi Arabia in the October regular election. On 18 November, Jordan formally submitted its candidacy for the vacant seat, and has been endorsed for election by the Group of Asia and the Pacific Small Island Developing States. The election is expected to be a "clean slate" election, as no other country announced candidacy. 

 For more information, please see Security Council Report's article  on the election. 

Saudi Arabia declines election to Security Council

Less than 24 hours after receiving 176 votes to win an uncontested election for one of the five open non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council, Saudi Arabia has announced that it declines its election and will not sit on the Council for the 2014-2015 term. 

 The move seemed to come as a surprise to the Saudi Mission to the UN, as the Mission office had spent months bolstering staff and receiving extra training on Security Council rules and procedures, and after the election yesterday, the Permanent Representative thanked all the member states for their support and provided gifts to the members of the General Assembly (a customary practice for those elected). Then on the morning of October 18th, the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement  that the country would not accept its election. 

Security Council election results for the 2014-2015 term

On 17 October the UN General Assembly held elections for five open non-permanent seats on the Security Council. The newly elected states are: Chad and Nigeria (for the African Group), Saudi Arabia (for the Group of Asia and the Pacific Small Island Developing States), Chile (from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States), and Lithuania (from the Eastern European Group). There were no seats open in the Western European and Others Group.

All of the states elected were done so in "clean slate" elections (without significant opposition and only requiring one round of voting). In order to be elected, states needed to garner at least a two-thirds majority of states considered "present and voting".

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