A vote in the United Nations Security Council headquarters in New York.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
NEW YORK - The United Nations General Assembly elected Ethiopia, Bolivia, Sweden and Kazakhstan to be non-permanent members of the UN Security Council for the 2017-2018 term on Tuesday.
A fifth non-permanent member was elected After multiple rounds of inconclusive voting Italy and Netherlands decided to split the seat.
The Council is composed of 15 Members. Five of them - China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA - are permanent and hold veto power. The 10 remaining ones are non-permanent and elected for two-year terms.
These non-permanent seats are allocated by regional groups. The 10 states have to include five African and Asian States; one Eastern European state; two Latin American states; and two from the Western European and Others group. All 193 member states of the United Nations are eligible for the seats but candidacies are submitted by the regional groups.
Tuesday’s election aimed to replace Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain, and Venezuela, who will be vacating their seats at the end of 2016. Ethiopia, Bolivia and Sweden were elected with a majority of votes during the first round; Kazakhstan, which was competing against Thailand, was given a seat after a second round of votes.
The rest of the current non-permanent members - Egypt, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay - will be replaced in the end of 2017.
The election was particularly momentous for Kazakhstan, which had never been elected to the Security Council, unlike the four other countries chosen. The Kazakh representatives cheered and shook hands with other delegation members who congratulated them as General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft read out the result. One of the Kazakh representatives also broke out in tears.
The five new Security Council members will begin their terms in 2017. Sources familiar with the Security Council election process told The Jerusalem Post
that Israel has already submitted its candidacy for the 2018-2019 term within the Western European and Others regional group which it belongs to.
Israel is one of the 67 United Nations Member States that have as of yet never been members of the Security Council. These states can still participate, without a vote, in the council’s sessions when the Council considers that that country's interests are affected.