India elected to UN Security Council as non-permanent member 

India has been elected to the UNSC as a non-permanent member for the eighth time.

Created On: Jun 18, 2020 11:41 ISTModified On: Jun 18, 2020 12:54 IST
India at UNSC
India at UNSC

India was elected to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member for a two-year term on June 17, 2020. India received overwhelming support from UN member states, winning 184 votes out of the total 192 valid votes polled in the 193-member UN General Assembly. 

Besides India, Ireland, Mexico and Norway also won the elections to the UN’s most powerful body, while Canada lost. Overall, there were 192 UN member states present and voting. 

A nation required 2/3 majority of the members present and voting to get elected to the UNSC, which totalled to 128 votes. India won with a sweeping majority with 184 votes polled in its favour. India’s Permanent to the UN tweeted confirming India’s major diplomatic victory. 

Significance

India will now sit at the UN’s most powerful body for two years starting from January 1, 2021. India will join other non-permanent members of the UNSC including the newly elected ones- Ireland, Mexico and Norway.

UNSC Elections: Key Highlights 

•  India was the only candidate for the non-permanent seat from the Asia-Pacific seat for the 2021-22 term. India’s candidature for the seat was unanimously endorsed by the 55-member Asia Pacific grouping including Pakistan and China in 2019. The seat is currently held by Indonesia. 

•  Mexico was also the sole candidate from the Latin America and Caribbean seat. It won with 187 votes.The seat is currently held by Dominican Republic.

•  Canada, which contested with Ireland and Norway for two seats in the Western European and other States category, lost out. While Norway won by 130 votes, Ireland won by 128 votes. The two seats are currently held by Belgium and Germany.

•  The two contenders for the fifth seat in the African Group category- Kenya and Djibouti- failed to gain the required 2/3rds majority. The seat will undergo another round of voting on June 18. The seat is currently held by South Africa.

India at UNSC

India has been elected to the UNSC as a non-permanent member for the eighth time. India served seven terms earlier -1950-1951, 1967-1968, 1972-1973, 1977-1978, 1984-1985, 1991-1992 and 2011-2012. India’s last term was exactly a decade ago.

UNSC Members

Permanent Members: The UN Security Council has five permanent veto-wielding members- US, UK, France, Russia and China. 

Non Permanent Members: The UNSC has 10 non-permanent members and each year the General Assembly elects five non-permanent members for a two-year term. 

Currently, the 10 non-permanent members of UNSC include Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam, Belgium, Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia and South Africa. The two-year term of Belgium, Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia and South Africa is ending this year.

UN General Assembly President 

The UN General Assembly also conducted elections for President of the 75th session of the Assembly on June 17, 2020. Turkish diplomat Volkan Bozkir was elected as President of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly. His candidature was endorsed from among the Western European and other States.

UNSC elections amid COVID

The UNSC elections were conducted under a special voting arrangement with several COVID-19 related restrictions in place. All 193 UN Member States were allotted different time slots to cast their votes keeping in mind social distancing protocol.

The UN diplomats arrived at the UN General Assembly wearing masks and left as soon as their vote was cast. India’s time slot to cast the vote was 11:30 am-12noon. The current President of the UN General Assembly Tijjani Muhammad-Bande oversaw the entire voting procedure in the General Assembly Hall.

Background 

The 10 non-permanent seats at the UN Security Council are distributed on a regional basis - five for African and Asian States, two for Western European and other States, two for the Latin American and Caribbean States and one for the Eastern European States. 

According to India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti, India’s presence in the Security Council will help bring to the world its ethos of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam'. India has been long demanding reforms in the UNSC, saying that it rightly deserves to be a permanent member of the council. India’s bid is supported by some of the other permanent members of the UNSC.

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