1985 United Nations Security Council election

← 1984 17 October 1985 1986 →

5 (of 10) non-permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council

Members before election

 Upper Volta (Africa)
 Egypt (Africa, Arab)
 India (Asia)
 Peru (LatAm&Car)
 Ukrainian SSR (E. Europe)

New Members

Unsuccessful candidates
 Liberia (African Group)

The 1985 United Nations Security Council election was held on 17 October 1985 during the Fortieth session of the United Nations General Assembly, held at United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The General Assembly elected Bulgaria, Congo, Ghana, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela, as the five new non-permanent members of the UN Security Council for two-year mandates commencing on 1 January 1986. 1985 marks the first election of Congo and the United Arab Emirates to the Council.


The Security Council has 15 seats, filled by five permanent members and ten non-permanent members. Each year, half of the non-permanent members are elected for two-year terms.[1][2] A sitting member may not immediately run for re-election.[3]

In accordance with the rules whereby the ten non-permanent UNSC seats rotate among the various regional blocs into which UN member states traditionally divide themselves for voting and representation purposes,[4] the five available seats are allocated as follows:

To be elected, a candidate must receive a two-thirds majority of those present and voting. If the vote is inconclusive after the first round, three rounds of restricted voting shall take place, followed by three rounds of unrestricted voting, and so on, until a result has been obtained. In restricted voting, only official candidates may be voted on, while in unrestricted voting, any member of the given regional group, with the exception of current Council members, may be voted on.


Voting was conducted on a single ballot. Ballots containing more states from a certain region than seats allocated to that region were invalidated.

Member Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
 Bulgaria 135
 People's Republic of the Congo 133
 Venezuela 131
 United Arab Emirates 126
 Liberia 87 70 59 46
 Ghana 45 81 94 109
 Cameroon 7
 East Germany 2
 Pakistan 2
 Syria 2
 Bangladesh 1
 Bolivia 1
 Burundi 1
 Cuba 1
 Dominican Republic 1
 Gabon 1
 Jamaica 1
 Japan 1
 Mexico 1
 Mozambique 1
abstentions 1 1 0 0
invalid ballots 1 4 1 1
required majority 98 101 102 104


See also


  1. ^ United Nations Security Council (2008), Repertoire of the practice of the Security Council, p. 178, ISBN 9789211370300
  2. ^ Conforti, Benedetto (2005), The law and practice of the United Nations, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, p. 61, ISBN 9004143092
  3. ^ Charter of the United Nations, Article 23
  4. ^ Resolution 1991 A (XVIII), dated 1963-12-17, in force 1965-08-31.
  5. ^ "Asian group of nations at UN changes its name to Asia-Pacific group", Radio New Zealand International, 2011-08-31.
  6. ^ U.N. General Assembly, 40ht session. Provisional Verbatim Record of Thirty-Eight Meeting Held at Headquarters, New York, On Thursday, 17 October 1985. (A/40/PV.38) 17 October 1985