"South Africa reaffirms the centrality of the United Nations
Charter and the primacy of the United Nations Security Council
on issues of international peace and security," he said.
Ramaphosa reaffirmed his country’s commitment to enhancing
cooperation between the United Nations and regional and
sub-regional organizations in matters relating to the
maintenance of international peace and security.
This will include the strengthening of effective partnerships
between the UNSC and the AU Peace and Security Council, he said.
"We reaffirm our commitment to the peaceful resolution of
global disputes and the advancement of inclusive development in
accordance with the United Nations Charter and International
Law," Ramaphosa added.
South Africa, Indonesia,
Dominican Republic, Belgium,
Germany elected to UN Security Council
UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) --
The UN General Assembly on Friday elected South
Africa, Indonesia, the Dominican Republic, Belgium and Germany
to serve during 2019-2020 in the UN Security Council.
Germany and the Dominican Republic each received 184 votes in
favor, South Africa 183, Belgium 181 and Indonesia 144.
The Council is the only UN body that can make legally binding
decisions and has the power to impose sanctions and authorize
the use of force.
Winning a seat on the Security Council is a great achievement
for many countries because they could express fully and
explicitly on major international peace and security issues.
The elected five are to join on Jan. 1, 2019 the five
permanent members of the 15-nation council—Britain, China,
France, Russia and the United States and replace the five
non-permanent members elected in 2016 to serve during 2017-2018
-- Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Bolivia, the Netherlands and Sweden,
who are ending their two-year terms (excluding the Netherlands)
on Dec. 31 this year.
During the 2016 Security Council elections, Italy and the
Netherlands agreed to split a two-year term, in which Italy
would serve from Jan. 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017 and the
Netherlands would subsequently serve from Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec.
31, 2018 because Italy and Netherlands were tied 95-95 after a
total of five rounds of secret ballots.
Six member states—South Africa, Indonesia, the Maldives, the
Dominican Republic, Belgium and Germany were running for the
five available seats. Indonesia and the Maldives were contesting
the one available seat for the Asia-Pacific Group, while the
other four candidates ran unopposed.
The Maldives received 46 votes in favour.
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 the
election is contested.
This means that a minimum of 129 positive votes are required
to win a seat if all 193 UN member states are present and
Altogether 190 member states cast votes for the Asia-Pacific
Group election and a minimum of 127 votes were required to
secure a seat.
The East European Group is not contesting any seat this year
as its seat, held by Poland through 2019, comes up for election
every other year.
Among the six candidates, four have previous Council
Belgium and Germany have served five times, Indonesia three
times, and South Africa twice.
The Dominican Republic and the Maldives have never served on
More than 60 UN member states have never been members of the
In accordance with the Security Council’s rotation rules,
whereby the 10 non-permanent UNSC seats rotate among the various
regional blocs into which UN member states traditionally divide
themselves for voting and representation purposes.
The five available seats this year were allocated as follows:
one for the Africa Group, one for the Asia-Pacific Group, one
for the Latin America and the Caribbean Group, and two for the
Western European and Others Group (WEOG).
Israel, which did not belong to any group for many years, was
given temporary membership in WEOG in May 2000.
It had previously planned to contest for the seat allocated
for WEOG, but dropped out recently, leaving other WEOG
members-Belgium and Germany unopposed.
The General Assembly mandated in 2014 that elections
beginning in 2016 for non-permanent Security Council seats be
held six months in advance of the term in order to give the
elected countries more time to prepare for their new
Previously balloting was held in October.
This was the third Council election since the timing was
brought forward from October to June.
As a result, the incoming members enjoy a longer preparatory
period, including three months of participation as observers in
Council consultations of the whole, Council subsidiary bodies,
and some informal Council meetings.
Diplomats say that the candidates appear to have a strong
national interest in particular regional issues and
country-specific situations on the Council’s agenda.
South Africa can be expected to emphasize African issues,
which make up a significant portion of the Council’s workload.
In its previous two terms on the Council, in 2007-2008 and
2011-2012, South Africa advocated closer cooperation between the
UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council, on
the basis that this would enhance the effectiveness of the UN
Security Council in addressing challenges to peace and security
The Dominican Republic is also likely to take a keen interest
in its own region, in particular the situation in Haiti, given
With the possibility that the UN Mission for Justice Support
in Haiti may draw down or even close in the coming years, it is
likely that the Dominican Republic will seek to influence this
process so as to promote stability.
Germany has expressed interest in engaging closely on several
issues on the Council’s agenda.
High on its list of priorities are the Syrian conflict,
Libya, Yemen, and what it has described as the migration crisis.
Shortly before setting off to New York to attend the vote,
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters in Berlin:
"Especially in the current situation, we need a strong and
empowered United Nations."
This year’s candidates seem to have a shared interest in
thematic issues concerning the protection of civilians,
including children in armed conflict; women, peace and security;
and youth, peace and security.
The conflict prevention and sustaining peace agenda is
another common priority among this year’s candidates, which is
also in line with the Secretary-General’s renewed emphasis on
Current divisions within the Council over issues including
Syria and Israel/ Palestine are likely to persist following the
departure of the five current non-permanent members and the
arrival of the five newly elected members, according to an
analysis report of the Security Council Report, Inc.
A state which is a member of the United Nations but not of
the Security Council may participate, without a vote, in its
discussions when the Council considers that country’s interests