The United Nations Security Council Elects Five New Members

Ghana received 185 votes, Gabon 183, UAE 179, Albania 175, and Brazil 181 votes, according to the final result. Peru and Iran each received one vote, while the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) received three.

The United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and China are the five permanent members of the Security Council, each with veto power. India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, and Norway, the other non-permanent members, will welcome the newly elected five.

Prior to its successful proposal, the UAE published a statement promising to be a “constructive partner” in addressing some of the “critical challenges of our day,” such as gender equality, terrorism and extremism, and “harnessing the power of innovation for peace.”

Viet Nam, for the Asia-Pacific Group, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, for the Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC), Estonia, for the Eastern European Group, and Niger and Tunisia, for the African Group, all vacated their seats.

Except for Gabon and Ghana, which were contested by the DRC for the two available seats in the African Group, the candidates ran generally unchallenged within their territories. The five new members elected this year will take office on January 1, 2022, and will remain in office until December 31, 2023.

While Albania is the only country that has never served on the Council before, Brazil has sat on it ten times, Gabon and Ghana three times apiece, and the United Arab Emirates once.

To earn a seat on the Council, each country must first receive the votes of two-thirds of the Member States present and voting at the General Assembly. If all 193 UN Member States are present and voting, this amounts to a minimum of 129 votes to obtain a seat.

Formal balloting is required even if candidates have been supported by their regional group and are running unopposed. Though unusual, a Member State that runs unopposed in the first round may not receive the necessary votes in the Assembly and will face a fresh challenger in the following rounds.

There have been few occasions in the past where multiple rounds of voting were required to fill a contested seat. When one of the contestants withdraws or a compromise candidate is elected, such issues are typically addressed.

In an unusual move, countries bidding for a seat have opted to split the term. But since 1966, this only happened once, in 2016, when Italy and the Netherlands agreed to split the 2017-2018 term.

Since 2010, 78 percent of Security Council seat races have been decided by acclamation.

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