2016 United Nations Security Council election

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

UNSC 2017.svg
United Nations Security Council membership after the elections
  Permanent members
  Non-permanent members

Members before election

New members

Unsuccessful candidates
 Thailand (Asia)

The 2016 United Nations Security Council election was held on 28 June[1] during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, held at United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The elections were for five non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council for two-year mandates commencing on 1 January 2017. In accordance with the Security Council's rotation 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, the five available seats were allocated as follows:

The five members will serve on the Security Council for the 2017–18 period.

This was the first time a Security Council election was held in the month of June.[3] On 18 September 2014, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 68/307 to push the elections back to six months prior to the beginning of the newly elected Council members' terms.[4] Moreover, this was the first election of Kazakhstan to the Council.


African Group

Asia-Pacific Group

Latin American and Caribbean Group

Western European and Others Group


William Courtney, the former U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan, said that "based on the solid successes of Kazakhstan to establish CICA, Chairmanship of the OSCE and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Kazakhstan, like no other country, deserves special trust and is a suitable candidate for a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council."[14]

Public debate

In May 2016, the World Federation of United Nations Associations hosted the first open debates for UN Member States competing for a seat as a non-permanent member to the Security Council. All five contenders participated in the debate.[15]


African and Asia-Pacific Groups

African and Asia-Pacific Groups election results[16]
Member Round 1 Round 2
 Ethiopia 185
 Kazakhstan 113 138
 Thailand 77 55
abstentions 2 0
required majority 127 129

Kazakhstan became the first Central Asian country to sit on the UNSC.[17]

Latin American and Caribbean Group

Latin American and Caribbean Group election results[16]
Member Round 1
 Bolivia 183
 Colombia 1
 Cuba 1
abstentions 8
required majority 124

Western European and Other Group

Day 1

Western European and Other Group election results[16]
Member Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5
 Sweden 134
 Netherlands 125 99 96 96 95
 Italy 113 92 94 95 95
 Belgium 1
abstentions 2 2 3 2 3
required majority 128 128 127 128 127

Following five rounds of inconclusive voting, Bert Koenders and Paolo Gentiloni, Foreign Ministers of the Netherlands and Italy respectively, announced a proposal whereby the Netherlands and Italy would split the two-year term with each country serving one year.[16] Such arrangements were relatively common in deadlocked elections starting in the late 1950s until 1966, when the Security Council was enlarged. This however would be the first time in over five decades that two members agreed to split a term; intractable deadlocks have instead usually been resolved by the candidate countries withdrawing in favor of a third member state.[1]

Day 2

Western European and Other Group election results[18]
Member Round 6
 Italy 179
 Netherlands 4
 San Marino 1
abstentions 6
required majority 123

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Security Council Elections 2016" (PDF). Security Council Report. 3 June 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Asian group of nations at UN changes its name to Asia-Pacific group", Radio New Zealand International, 2011-08-31.
  3. ^ "Security Council Elections 2015" (PDF). Security Council Report. 2 October 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  4. ^ United Nations General Assembly Session 68 Resolution 307. Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly A/RES/68/307 10 September 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  5. ^ EX.CL/Draft/Dec.872(XXVI) paragraph 4 (VI))[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "EAC member states endorse Kutesa for UN". New Vision. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  7. ^ Schadomsky, Ludger (28 June 2016). "Ethiopia gets non-permanent UN Security Council seat". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 29 June 2016. Africa (sic) heads of state and government had agreed on Ethiopia as a joint candidate at their summit in January, when Kenya and the Seychelles withdrew from the contest.
  8. ^ "Seychelles bids for UN Security Council seat". Associated Press. 5 August 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  9. ^ "Seychelles withdraws bid for UN Security Council seat". Seychelles News Agency. 16 January 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Secretary-General, Opening Annual General Debate, Urges World Leaders to Tackle Global Challenges Decisively for Sake of Future Generations". United Nations. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
  11. ^ a b "Minister Describes Use of Force to Address Problems as 'Ineffective, Meaningless and Destructive', on Fourth Day of General Assembly's Annual Debate". United Nations. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  12. ^ Ashayagachat, Achara (4 September 2013). "PM gears up for historic UN speech". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 7 September 2013.
  13. ^ a b "The EU, the UN and Collective Security. Making Multilateralism Effective". Istituto Affari Internazionali. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
  14. ^ "Kazakhstan and USA successfully develop strategic partnership". FinInfo.
  15. ^ "First Security Council Election Debates". WFUNA. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  16. ^ a b c d "General Assembly Elects 4 New Non-permanent Members to Security Council, as Western and Others Group Fails to Fill Final Vacancy". United Nations. 28 June 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  17. ^ "Kazakh FM Outlines Priorities Following Historic Election to UN Security Council for 2017-2018". astanatimes.com.
  18. ^ "Elected to Security Council in Single Round of General Assembly Voting, Italy Says It Will Cede Non-Permanent Seat to Netherlands after 1 Year". United Nations. 30 June 2016. Retrieved 23 July 2016.