General Assembly to Hold Election for 5 Security Council Seats

The 70th session of the UN General Assembly is scheduled to hold elections for the non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council on Thursday, Oct. 15.

This is contained in the Security Council Annual Special Research Report issued on Monday in New York.

According to the report, five of the 10 non-permanent seats in the Security Council will be filled for the 2016-2017 term.

The five seats available for election in 2015 will be distributed regionally as follows: two seats for the Africa Group, currently held by Chad and Nigeria; one seat for the Asia group and the Pacific Small Island Developing States.

Others are the Asia-Pacific Group, currently held by Jordan; one seat for the Group of Latin American and Caribbean states, currently held by Chile; and one seat for the Eastern European Group, currently held by Lithuania.

It added that the Western European and others group was not contesting for seats this year, as its two seats, currently held by New Zealand and Spain, were up for election every even calendar year.

The five new members elected this year will take up their seats on Jan. 1, 2016, and will serve through Dec. 31, 2017.

Meanwhile, the five candidates seemed to be running unopposed as sole candidates for their respective regional groups.

All five candidates had previously served on the Council.

For example, Japan had served on 10 previous occasions; Egypt, five times, United Arab Republic, two terms, Ukraine two terms, Senegal two terms and Uruguay one term.

Set up in 1946 , the UN Security Council comprises of 15 members, five of them -- Britian, France, China, the United States and Russia -- are permanent members while 10 are non-permanent members that serve for two years on a rotational basis

The voting procedures are that a country must obtain the votes of two-thirds of the member states present and voting at the General Assembly session in order to secure a seat on the council, regardless of whether or not the election is contested.

This means that 129 positive votes are required at a minimum to win a seat, if all 193 UN member states are present.

Elections to the council, as with other principal organs of the UN, require formal balloting, even if candidates have been endorsed by their regional group and are running unopposed.