Mexico, India, Ireland, Norway elected to UN Security Council, one seat still open

A UN Security Council meeting at United Nations headquarters in New York on February 26, 2020. — AFP pic
A UN Security Council meeting at United Nations headquarters in New York on February 26, 2020. — AFP pic

UNITED NATIONS, June 18 — Mexico, India, Ireland and Norway were elected to the United Nations Security Council yesterday, but the 193 U.N. member states must return today to continue voting to fill one more vacant seat after there was no clear winner.

Canada lost out to Ireland and Norway in a hotly contested election that included Ireland enlisting the help of U2 singer Bono and taking UN ambassadors to a U2 concert and Canada taking envoys to a Celine Dion concert.

Mexico and India were elected unopposed. Kenya and Djibouti were competing for the final seat, but there was no clear winner.

To ensure geographical representation, seats are allocated to regional groups. But even if candidates are running unopposed in their group, they still need to win the support of more than two thirds of the UN General Assembly.

The new members will start their two-year term on the 15-member council on January 1.

After operating virtually since March amid the coronavirus pandemic, diplomats - wearing masks and social distancing — returned to the General Assembly hall yesterday to cast their secret ballots at allotted times.

They also elected — unopposed — Turkish diplomat Volkan Bozkir as the president of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly. He will take up the role later this year.

The Security Council is the only UN body that can make legally binding decisions like imposing sanctions and authorising the use of force. It has five permanent veto-wielding members — the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia. — Reuters

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