United Nations: The United Nations General Assembly today elected Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Venezuela as the new non-permanent members of the Security Council for a two-year term beginning in January next year.
The 193-member UN body held elections to vote for five new members, who would take the place of Argentina, Australia, Korea, Luxembourg and Rwanda after their tenures at the 15-nation Council end this year.
Following the first round of voting, the General Assembly elected Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand and Venezuela. Spain was elected after a third round of balloting, following a close fight with Turkey to fill the remaining seat on the Council open to the Western European and Other States group.
Spain received 132 votes against Turkey's 60. The new members will take up their seats on January 1, 2015, and will serve on the Council until December 31 2016.
The five seats available for election in 2014, distributed regionally, were one seat each for the African Group, the Asia-Pacific Group, the group of Latin American and Caribbean States, and two seats for the Western European and Others Group.
Contending for the five vacancies were Angola, Malaysia and Venezuela, while New Zealand, Spain and Turkey were vying for the two seats designated for Western European and Other States group.
The five permanent Council members, which wield the power of veto, are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The other five non-permanent members that will remain on the Council until the end of 2015 are Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania and Nigeria.
India had last held a seat as the non-permanent member in 2011-2012. It is expected to put in its candidature for a non-permanent member seat at the UN high table for 2021-2022 term after Afghanistan withdrew its candidacy in New Delhi's favour citing “long-standing, close and friendly” bilateral relations.
The elections will be held in October 2020. However India has said it deserves to be a permanent member of the Council, calling for urgent reforms and expansion of the permanent and non-permanent categories and stressing that the process to expand the powerful UN body cannot go on infinitely and the Council should be reformed to reflect the realities of the 21st Century.
During Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Washington last month, President Barack Obama reaffirmed his support for a reformed UN Security Council with India as a permanent member, and both leaders committed to ensuring that the Security Council continues to play an effective role in maintaining international peace and security as envisioned in the United Nations Charter.