The nations of Cote d’Ivoire and Equatorial Guinea were elected to two-year terms on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Friday. They join the 10-nation roster of nonpermanent members to the council, along with incoming nations Kuwait, Poland and Peru.
The Netherlands also will join the council for one year, to complete a term shared with Italy.
The newly elected UNSC members will begin their term in 2018. They will join Ethiopia, as well as Bolivia, Sweden and Kazakhstan, whose representation will continue through 2018. The new members will replace Egypt and Senegal, as well as Japan, Ukraine and Uruguay.
The new African nations will join the 15-member body, and were welcomed by their colleagues including permanent member France, China, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“We look forward to working very closely with these countries on all matters pertaining to the Security Council, which plays a vital role in maintaining international peace and security,” said France’s mission.
Equatorial Guinea recently hosted a summit to discuss African representation on the UNSC and the ongoing call for Security Council reform. The C-10 committee, a group of the African Union Heads of State on the Reform of the United Nations, has since 2005 pressed for two permanent seats on the council and two additional nonpermanent seats for African nations.
President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, the current C-10 chairman, has floated the idea of a boycott of this year’s United Nations General Assembly if the issue is not addressed. President Jacob Zuma of South Africa also has called for UNSC reform, most recently during his Africa Day speech.
Their calls are in line with the goals of the Ezulwini Consensus, also known as the African Common Position, on the UNSC reform issue. A new framework to advance Africa’s standing is expected to be discussed at the AU summit in summer.
Image: UN Security Council