India’s election to the U.N. Security Council
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India scored a major diplomatic victory to enter the non-permanent category of the UN Security Council when elections were held for the five non-permanent members on Wednesday. India won 184 votes out of 192 valid votes cast.
- Previously, India has been elected as a non-permanent member of the Council for the years 1950—1951, 1967—1968, 1972—1973, 1977—1978, 1984—1985, 1991—1992 and 2011—2012.
What are ‘non-permanent seats’ at the UNSC?
- The UNSC is composed of 15 members: five permanent members — China, France, Russian Federation, the United States, and the United Kingdom — and 10 non-permanent members who are elected by the General Assembly. The non-permanent members are elected for two-year terms — so every year, the General Assembly elects five non-permanent members out of the total 10.
- These 10 seats are distributed among the regions of the world: five seats for African and Asian countries; one for Eastern European countries; two for Latin American and Caribbean countries; and two for Western European and Other Countries.
- It is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN).
- Like the UN as a whole, it was created following World War II to address the failings of a previous international organization, the League of Nations, in maintaining world peace.
- The council held its first session in 1946.
- It is the only body of the UN with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.
- The Security Council consists of fifteen members:
- The great powers that were the victors of World War II – the Soviet Union (now represented by Russia), the United Kingdom, France, Republic of China (now represented by the People's Republic of China), and the United States – serve as the body's five permanent members.
- These can veto any substantive resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or nominees for the office of Secretary-General.
- In addition, the council has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve a term of two years.
- The body's presidency rotates monthly among its members.
- Resolutions of the Security Council are typically enforced by UN peacekeepers, military forces voluntarily provided by member states and funded independently of the main UN budget.
- Unlike the General Assembly, the Security Council meets year-round. Each Security Council member must have a representative available at UN Headquarters at all times in case an emergency meeting becomes necessary.
- Due to the public scrutiny of the Security Council Chamber, all of the real work of the Security Council is conducted behind closed doors in "informal consultations".