Seven countries in running to join Estonia with UNSC non-permanent seat ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

A pre-COVID 19 pandemic, face-to-face UN Security Council meeting in New York.
A pre-COVID 19 pandemic, face-to-face UN Security Council meeting in New York. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Seven countries are in the running to join Estonia on the UN Security Council (UNSC) as non-permanent members this week: Canada, Djibouti, India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway.

The seven countries are vying for five seats, and will replace Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia and South Africa, whose terms expire at the end of the year.

There are 10 non-permanent members on the UNSC, elected for two-year terms and staggered into two groups, in other words every year five seats are rotated.

Estonia was elected on June 7 last year, along with Niger, Tunisia, Vietnam and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The five permanent UNSC members are China, France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S.

Widely considered the most influential UN body, tasked with overseeing security and focusing on the world's trouble spots in an effort to mediate, the UNSC can convene meetings whenever it sees fit, as opposed to the more fixed meetings held by the UN General Assembly.

During the coronavirus pandemic, many of these meetings have been held via remote video link, rather than traveling to UN headquarters in Manhattan, a move which Estonia's foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) recently said had actually led to an uptick in participation.

Nine votes in favor are required for the adoption of an important resolution, while all five permanent members have the right of veto.

The UNSC presidency rotates every month; Estonia held this through the month of May, and will do again next year.

While the five new members are to be voted on this week, they will not take up their seats until the beginning of 2021. Estonia's term expires at the end of that year.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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