The UN General Assembly elected on Wednesday four new members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) for 2021 and 2022, with Canada losing out again and the battle for the African seat going to a second round. India was elected to the UNSC without any competition as it ran the race unopposed.
India elected unopposed as Non-Permanent Member of Unites Nations Security Council. India got 184 out of 192 valid votes. #UNSC pic.twitter.com/cT0ugkJljO— Pushpendra Kulshreshtha (@iArmySupporter) June 18, 2020
India, Mexico, Norway and Ireland were chosen as non-permanent members, while Djibouti and Kenya — both of which failed to receive the two-thirds vote majority required to win — will go to a second round of voting on Thursday. They will join the UNSC on January 1, 2021 for a two-year term replacing Indonesia, South Africa, Dominican Republic, Belgium and Germany.
Canada was beaten once again for one of the Western seats, by Ireland and Norway, despite a long and star-studded campaign, a result likely to be a blow to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
India elected to UNSC: will fortify its defense against China
In the Asia-Pacific region, India — which has been trying unsuccessfully to win a permanent seat in an expanded Security Council — ran unopposed to win 184 votes out of the 192 countries that participated in the election.
“India will become member of UNSC at a critical juncture. We are confident that in the Covid and post-Covid world, India will continue to provide leadership and a new orientation for a reformed multilateral system,’’ said India’s Permanent Representative to the UN T S Tirumurti.
India’s election was welcomed by the US State Department, which looked forward to working together on issues of international peace and security, “a natural extension of the US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership’’.
The result means that India will now have a seat at the same table as China, just days after the two nations disputed their Himalayan border, trading blame for a brawl that left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead. This will help India gather diplomatic momentum against what it perceives as Chinese incursions into its territory.
India and China have become increasingly pugnacious with each other on their border, particularly at the border between Ladakh and Aksai Chin, called the Line of Actual Control. Recently, India alleged that Chinese troops had invaded the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control; China shot back by saying that the area is actually on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control.
India elected to UNSC along with other nations
Mexico, which also ran unopposed, earned 187 votes.
African nations have in the past picked their own candidate but were unable to put forward a single country this time. Kenya received 113 votes against Djibouti, which got 78.
Kenya boasts of enjoying the support of the African Union, but Djibouti says it should have the seat due to Nairobi’s past participation on the Security Council and the principle of rotation.
French-speaking Djibouti and English-speaking Kenya are both highlighting their roles in seeking peace on the Horn of Africa, as well as their contributions to UN peacekeeping options.
Read more: US sets condition for India’s UNSC seat
Kenya has pointed to its welcome to refugees from Somalia and South Sudan, as well as to its support to the two countries’ fragile governments.
Djibouti, in turn, notes its strategic location and unusual role as a defense base for diverse countries — France, the United States, China and Japan — as well as its contributions in Somalia.
For Europe and the Western seats, the competition was more customary.
Canada loses out again in race for seat at UNSC table
Canada — already stung by a defeat in 2010 during its last bid for the Security Council, when the General Assembly chose Portugal instead — was dominated by Norway, with 130 votes, and Ireland, which had 128, the minimum number required to win.
Trudeau had invested heavily in the latest Security Council effort, with the defeat potentially causing him political embarrassment at home.
Do you know what keeps dictators in power? Money. Lots and lots of money.
Trudeau has just enriched some of the worst dictators on the planet with Canadian taxpayer dollars in the hopes of winning a useless seat at the UNSC.#cdnpoli #UNSCelections https://t.co/6z28wz7XLo— David Jacobs (@DrJacobsRad) June 17, 2020
“As we move forward, we remain committed to the goals and principles that we laid out during this campaign,” Trudeau said in a statement, adding that Canada would “continue to play a vital role in advancing global cooperation and building a more peaceful, inclusive and sustainable world.”
Hoping to woo delegates, both Canada and Ireland had wielded star power: Celine Dion sang in New York City to promote Canada at the UN, while U2 performed a concert in the Big Apple for Ireland.
“Campaigning for a UNSC seat involves endless lobbying, entertaining and worrying that the ambassador who just promised you a vote is a liar,” tweeted Richard Gowan, an expert on the world body at the International Crisis Group.
General Assembly votes electronically
Fearing fraud or manipulation, the General Assembly did not vote electronically, even though the United Nations is mostly operating virtually until the end of July due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, each of the 193 delegations had a chance to cast a secret ballot at a designated time scattered throughout the day in the famous Assembly Hall. Each new Security Council member needed to win two-thirds of the votes cast.
The Security Council has 10 non-permanent members in addition to the veto-wielding Big Five — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.
AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk
What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments bar below.