India elected to UNSC with overwhelming majority

NEW DELHI, JUN 18 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 6/18/2020 1:31:27 PM IST

In a one-of-its-kind election for the UN Security Council, India sailed through with an overwhelming number of votes while in a big upset, Canada lost its bid to Norway and Ireland.

One election between Djibouti and Kenya went down to the second round in which the latter emerged triumphant. “India will become member of UNSC at a critical juncture. We are confident that in the Covid and post-Covid world, India will continue to provide leadership and a new orientation for a reformed multilateral system,’’ said India’s Permanent Representative to the UN T S Tirumurti.

India got 184 out of 192 votes with China and Pakistan siding with the sole nominee from the Asia Pacific group. Even though a country is the only candidate from its group, it still has to get two-thirds of the vote to be declared elected. Thus, five new members – India, Ireland, Mexico, Norway and Kenya – will join the UNSC on January 1, 2021 for a two-year term replacing Indonesia, South Africa, Dominican Republic, Belgium and Germany.

As per rules, five non-permanent members out of 10 are elected each year for two years. There are already five non-permanent members-- Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam –elected last year. The five permanent Members are France, Russia, the UK, the US and China.

India’s election was welcomed by the US State Department, which looked forward to working together on issues of international peace and security, “a natural extension of the US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership”.

Tirumurti described India’s election as recognition of Prime Miniter Narendra Modi’s global role. “His strong engagement across countries and across regions has clearly found resonance,” he said.

Among the five new elected members, India has served the maximum of seven terms while Mexico and Norway have served four terms each while Ireland and Kenya have served thrice and twice, respectively.

India’s last two trysts with UNSC elections have been mixed. It won the 2011-12 elections by a similarly wide margin but had lost badly to Japan when contesting for the 1996-97 term. In the immediate term, India will seek more transparency, consultations and coordination in UNSC and the UN Secretariat.

The US on Thursday congratulated India on the successful election to the UN Security Council and said it looks forward to working with New Delhi for a more stable, secure, and prosperous world. “Hearty congratulations to India’s successful election to the @UN Security Council.  The United States looks forward to working with India for a more stable, secure, and prosperous world,” US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster tweeted.

His remarks came hours after India’s overwhelming election as a non-permanent member for a two-year term, beginning January 1, 2021.

In an unprecedented election where envoys from the 192 member-states voted wearing masks and in adherence to the strict social-distancing norms due to the COVID-19 pandemic, India, the endorsed candidate from the Asia-Pacific States, won 184 votes out of the 192 ballots cast in the election for the five non-permanent seats of the Security Council, the world organisation’s most powerful organ.



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