17 October 2013

Nigeria: UN Security Council - Nigeria Knows Fate Today

Nigeria will today know its fate as it vies in the election into the non-permanent body of the United Nations Security Council as the sole contestant from the West Africa region.

The election, scheduled to hold this afternoon at the Security Council's Chambers inside the UN headquarters in New York, requires Nigeria to poll the required votes to represent the West Africa on the Council for a period of two years, beginning from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2015.

Nigeria will be running for West Africa's slot on the Security Council unopposed as Gambia, which was the sole challenger of the country, recently stood down, having realised the strong supports that Nigeria had received from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) as well as some permanent and non-permanent members of the council.

Chad, too, is expected to win in a de facto uncontested race for the other Africa Group seat but, just like Nigeria, it must receive votes from two-thirds of the 194 Member States present and voting at the time of the election, in order to be announced as the next occupant of the seat, a UN rule.

With West Africa's slot, the UN General Assembly is expected to elect five non-permanent members to the Security Council for the 2014-2015 term.

Winners at the election will be replacing Togo and Morocco (from the African Group), Pakistan (from the Group of Asia and the Pacific Small Island Developing States), Guatemala (from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States), and Azerbaijan (from the Eastern European Group). The tenure of these five outgoing countries will end on December 31, 2013.

Just like Nigeria, of the available seats, Chile, Lithuania and Saudi Arabia are expected to be elected uncontested as there is only one candidate running for each of their regional groups.

President Goodluck Jonathan, while addressing the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York three weeks ago, said that Nigeria deserved to have a non-permanent seat on the security council of the global body, saying .

that Nigeria's commendable performance on previous occasions when it held a non-permanent seat on the security council should assure the global community that the country deserved to be elected to the council again for the 2014-2015 session.

"Our support for the United Nations Security Council in its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security has been total and unwavering. We have, in previous membership of the Council, demonstrated both the political will and capacity to engage in key Council responsibilities," he said.

It would also be recalled that Nigeria had polled 186 votes in October 2009 to be elected to the seat between January 1, 2010 and December 31st, 2011.

During the two-year tenure of Nigeria as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, Nigeria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Prof. Joy U. Ogwu, was made to serve as a rotational president of the UN organ but the country could not secure a return in 2012 as it had to wait for another two years to vie for the seat.

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