2016 United Nations Security Council election

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UNSC 2017

2016 United Nations Security Council election took place on June 28, 2016, during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly held at United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The election was held to select five non-permanent members to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for two-year terms commencing on January 1, 2017. The UNSC is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations charged with ensuring international peace and security, accepting new members to the United Nations, and approving any changes to its Charter.

Background[edit | edit source]

The Security Council is composed of fifteen members, five of whom are permanent: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The ten non-permanent seats are allocated on a regional basis and are elected for two-year terms. The General Assembly holds elections annually to fill roughly half of the non-permanent seats. Members are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.

Election Criteria[edit | edit source]

To be elected to the Security Council, a candidate must receive at least two-thirds of all votes cast in the General Assembly. If the required number of votes is not obtained in the first round, successive rounds of voting are held until the quota is met.

2016 Election[edit | edit source]

The 2016 election was to replace the five members whose terms were due to expire at the end of 2016: Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain, and Venezuela. The seats are allocated regionally as follows:

  • Two seats for African and Asia-Pacific states
  • One seat for Latin American and Caribbean states
  • One seat for Eastern European states
  • One seat for Western European and other states

Candidates[edit | edit source]

For the 2016 election, the following countries were candidates:

  • For Africa and Asia-Pacific: Ethiopia, Kazakhstan
  • For Latin America and the Caribbean: Bolivia
  • For Eastern Europe: Italy, Netherlands (Italy and the Netherlands agreed to split the term, with each serving one year)
  • For Western Europe and other states: Sweden

Results[edit | edit source]

The election results were as follows:

  • Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, and Bolivia were elected in the first round of voting.
  • Sweden was also elected in the first round.
  • Italy and the Netherlands agreed to split the two-year term after five rounds of voting did not produce a winner, with Italy serving in 2017 and the Netherlands in 2018.

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

The elected countries took their seats on the Security Council on January 1, 2017, and served until December 31, 2018. Their tenure on the Council involved addressing various global crises, including conflicts in the Middle East, the North Korean nuclear issue, and peacekeeping operations in Africa.


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD