07 June 2023
Guyana to join the UN Security Council as new non-permanent member
Guyana will join the premier body for maintaining international peace and security, starting in January, 2024 and serving for a two-year period. The country joins alongside Algeria, Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone and Slovenia, all of whom were among six countries vying for five non-permanent seats around the Council’s horseshoe-shaped table that will become vacant at the end of the year. Securing a seat The Security Council is composed of 15 countries, five of which - China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – are permanent members, granting them the right to veto any resolution or decision. The 10 non-permanent members are elected by the General Assembly, which comprises all 193 UN Member States, and in line with geographical distribution by region. Voting is conducted by secret ballot and candidates must receive a two-thirds majority, or 128 votes, even if they run uncontested. Overall, 192 countries voted to fill three Council seats allocated to the Africa and Asia-Pacific Groups, and one each for Eastern Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean. Slovenia beat Belarus in the race for Eastern Europe, receiving 153 votes versus 38, while Algeria, Guyana, Sierra Leone and the Republic of Korea ran unopposed. Ready to serve His Excellency Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, following the election said, "Guyana is honoured and humbled by the confidence that has been expressed by the international community in electing us to this most important position of responsibility on the global stage." He added, "the theme of our candidacy ‘Partnering for Peace and Prosperity” serves as a guide to Guyana’s approach to service on the Security Council. We intend to be a constructive and engaged partner with the members of the Council and the wider international community in the search for solutions to the myriad of momentous challenges that beset our human family." The five newly elected countries will join Ecuador, Japan, Malta, Mozambique and Switzerland as non-permanent members of the Council. They will take up seats currently occupied by Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana and the United Arab Emirates when their two-year terms end on 31 December. This story was first published by UN News and has been edited to focus on the country context.