On Thursday, Ecuador, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, and Switzerland were elected non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for a two-year term.
The newly elected members will take up their new responsibilities on Jan. 1, 2023, and will serve till Dec. 31, 2024. All five candidates were running unopposed on Thursday. They will replace the outgoing non-permanent members of India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway.
A candidate must obtain the support of two-thirds of the UN member states present and voting at the General Assembly session in order to secure a non-permanent seat on the Security Council, regardless of whether the candidacy is contested or not. This means that a minimum of 129 positive votes are required to win a seat if all 193 member states are present and voting. Member states that abstain are considered not voting.
In Thursday's voting, Mozambique and Ecuador won the support of all member states that were present and voting, with 192 and 190 votes respectively. Switzerland won 187 votes, Malta won 185 votes, and Japan won 184 votes, according to results announced by Abdulla Shahid, the current General Assembly president, who presided over the voting process.
#OnThisDay, 1967, UN Security council passes resolution 242; #Israel must give back occupied Palestinian lands. Until now, despite this resolution, not only Israel has not returned the occupied territories, but has also occupied more lands from #Palestine. #OTD pic.twitter.com/7Kpj2Grw73— That's Enough (Anti-war Coalition) (@Thatsenough0) November 22, 2021
Among the five newly elected members, Mozambique and Switzerland have never served on the Security Council. With Thursday's election, Japan will set the record of 12 Security Council terms. Brazil is currently serving its 11th term.
The Security Council has 15 members, five of which are permanent ones: Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States. The 10 non-permanent seats of the council are allocated by geographic region, with five replaced each year. The five newly elected countries represent Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Western Europe and other states. The Eastern European group is not contesting any seats this year, as its one seat, held by Albania, comes up for election every other year.
The Security Council is considered the most powerful body of the United Nations. The council, which is tasked to maintain international peace and security, can make legally binding decisions and has the power to impose sanctions and authorize the use of force.