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Africa News of Saturday, 12 June 2021


Ghana, Gabon win non-permanent seats on UN Security Council

A United Nations Security Council meeting in session A United Nations Security Council meeting in session

Two African countries were on Friday elected onto the powerful U.N. Security Council - the two are Ghana and Gabon.

In all, five countries were elected to sit as non-permanent members of the Council. All five new members were elected unopposed with the three others being Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Albania.

Per the ballots, Ghana received 185 votes, Gabon 183 votes, Brazil 181 votes, UAE 179 votes and Albania 175 votes.

Winning a seat on the 15-member Security Council is considered a pinnacle of achievement for many countries because it gives them a strong voice on issues of international peace and security ranging from conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Mali and Myanmar to the nuclear threat posed by North Korea and Iran, and attacks by extremist groups such as the Islamic State and al-Qaida.

It will be Albania’s first time serving on the council and Brazil’s 11th time, which will tie Japan as the country elected to the council for the most two-year terms. There had been a three-way race for two African seats but Congo dropped out on Monday.

General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir announced the results of the secret-ballot vote and congratulated the winner.

The five new council members will start their terms on Jan. 1, replacing five countries whose two-year terms end on Dec. 31 -- Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam.

They will join the five veto-wielding permanent members of the council -- the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom and France -- and the five countries elected last year: India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway.

Before COVID-19, countries running for Security Council seats often invited ambassadors for lavish visits to their nations, put on dinners and held receptions with entertainments, and sent senior government officials around the globe lobbying for votes. But the pandemic has curtailed all of that since March 2020.

Last year, the election for new council members was held under dramatically different voting procedures because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With additional files from Associated Press