IGAD welcomes Ethiopia’s election to UN Security Council

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has congratulated Ethiopia for its election as a Non-Permanent member of the UN Security Council for two years starting from January 1, 2017.

“IGAD is proud to learn Ethiopia, one of its Member States and a founding member of the UN, has been elected to serve as a Non-Permanent Member of the UN Security Council with an overwhelming support from the UN General Assembly,” IGAD Executive Secretary Mahboub Maalim said on Thursday.

“IGAD wishes to seize this occasion to congratulate the Government and people of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for this great achievement for Africa,” Maalim said in a statement.

The Security Council has 15 members, including five permanent ones – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the US. Each has the power of veto.

The Security Council’s 10 non-permanent seats are allocated according to a rotation pattern set by the Assembly in 1963, to ensure a proportionate representation over time from the different parts of the world.

They are: five from African and Asian States; one from Eastern European States; two from Latin American States; and two from Western European and Other States.

At Tuesday’s elections, the General Assembly members voted by secret ballot for five seats divided by geographical grouping – three from Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, one from Eastern Europe, and one from Latin America and the Caribbean.

Bolivia and Ethiopia were chosen by their regional groups and had no competitors.
Kazakhstan won the seat reserved for Asia Pacific against Thailand, while Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden had competed for two seats for Western Europe.

The newly-elected countries will replace Spain, Malaysia, New Zealand, Angola and Venezuela.

Other current non-permanent members are Japan, Egypt, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay.

The elevation of Ethiopia to the Security Council seat comes in the wake of renewed pressure by African Union members to gain access to at least two permanent seats on the UN Security Council and to do away with the veto powers.

The reform of the UN Security Council is one of the major issues for discussion at the African Union Heads of State Assembly, slated for 10-18 July in Kigali, Rwanda.

Ethiopia’s election to the position is a well-deserved achievement given its historic contributions to Africa’s political and socio-economic aspirations and contribution to peace and stability in the IGAD region and beyond, Maalim added.

Ethiopia is currently recognized as one of the leading contributors of UN peacekeeping missions worldwide.

In addition, the country is demonstrating exemplary economic development and is currently recognized as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, the IGAD official said.

“IGAD is confident that the region and the African continent as a whole will be ably represented in the Security Council through the membership of Ethiopia and salutes its people and government for making the regional bloc proud,” Maalim said.



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