Voting for 5 places on the UN Security Council (15 members) takes place today.
The elections are 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 are allocated as follows:
- One for Africa
- One for the Asia-Pacific Group
- One for Latin America and the Caribbean
- Two for the Western European and Others Group
The five members will serve on the Security Council for the 2017–18 period.
Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands are competing for the two places on the Security Council reserved for the “Western European and Others Group”. To win a seat on the Council a country has to receive more than 2/3rds of the votes cast. 193 countries can vote and in a secret ballot each votes for two countries. If all eligible countries participate, a winning country must receive at least 129 votes.
The Security Council met for the first time in London on January 17, 1946. Sweden has been on the Security Council three time; in 1957–58, 1975–76 and 1997–98. That is after gaps of 11, 18, and 22 years. It is now 19 years since Sweden was last a member and has a pretty good chance of winning a place. I judge it is somewhat better than the nominal 2/3rds chance all 3 countries start with. The Swedish press has “exposed” that the Foreign Ministry has spent some 22 million kronor (less than $3 million) in its “campaign” to be chosen.
I expect that Sweden and the Netherlands will probably win the two places available.