NEW YORK – The UN General Assembly will vote Friday to give rotating seats in the powerful Security Council of 15 countries to five countries.
Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana and the United Arab Emirates have been running unchallenged for two years. But to succeed, each will still have to secure a two-thirds majority of the secret ballots. Albania is the only candidate who has never held a seat on the council.
Countries usually declare their candidacy a few years in advance. But there are occasional late entrants. This year, the Democratic Republic of Congo decided in May to challenge what would be an assured victory for Gabon and Ghana. But earlier this week, reports from the region read that the president of the DRC, Felix Tshisekedi, had decided to abandon the country’s bid.
The UN Security Council addresses issues related to international peace and security. It has the power to deploy peacekeepers in troubled places and to punish bad actors.
His actions are supposed to prevent and resolve conflict, but critics have said in recent years that differing views, especially among his permanent members – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – have prevented action on urgent issues.
“The Security Council’s report on recent crises has been pathetic,” Louis Charbonneau, UN Director of Human Rights Watch, told VOA.
“Whether it involves war crimes in Gaza, major human rights violations in Myanmar or atrocities in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, the most you can usually expect is that you sometimes make a worrying statement – and that’s when you’m lucky,” he said. he said.
The annual poll always draws hundreds of diplomats to the General Assembly Hall, where candidate countries hand out treats that limit their month-long campaigns.
But the UN headquarters are in the heart of New York City, hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The city ‘reopened’ only three weeks ago and several health protocols remain in force within the UN complex, meaning the vote is likely to be subdued.
The countries they elect to the Security Council will replace the outgoing members Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam. The new members will take up their two-year term on 1 January.
They will join the five other non-permanent members – India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway – and the five permanent members who veto.