The election of non-permanent members to the United Nations Security Council is set for Friday morning in New York, with South Africa seeking to be elected to represent the African Group.
The UN General Assembly will elect five members to two-year terms that begin in 2019. Ethiopia currently holds the non-permanent seat assigned to the African Group. Equatorial Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire also are serving on the Security Council with terms that extend into next year.
South Africa’s candidacy was endorsed by the African Union in January. The country has served two previous terms on the Security Council, once in 2007-2008 and again in 2011-2012.
“South Africa’s term on the Council will also coincide with aspirations of the African continent to ‘silence the guns’ by 2020 – an objective and an ideal that South Africa would like to see achieved throughout the world,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement.
South Africa plans to focus on strengthening cooperation between the AU and the UN, with an emphasis on conflict resolution and peacebuilding through inclusive dialogue.
Other candidates for the non-permanent seats include the Dominican Republic in the Latin America-Caribbean group; Belgium and Germany in Western Europe; and Maldives and Indonesia from the Asia-Pacific Group. Lindiwe Sisulu, South Africa’s foreign minister, is meeting with their representatives to discuss cooperation should they be elected to the council.
UN Security Council representation is often a contentious issue among AU member nations, who developed the Ezulwini Consensus on the issue in 2005 and have appealed for more than decade for reforms that would ensure both permanent seats and additional non-permanent seats on the council.
Image: UNSC file