Nigeria is to compete today, September 17, in the election into the non-permanent body of the United Nations Security Council as the sole contestant from West Africa.
Gambia had been the only challenger of Nigeria but it stood down having realised the strong support that Nigeria had received from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) as well as some permanent and non-permanent members of the Council.
The election will hold this afternoon at the Security Council’s Chambers inside the UN headquarters in New York.
Nigeria needs to poll the required votes to represent the West Africa on the Council for a period of two years, beginning from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2015.
Chad, in turn, is expected to win in a de facto uncontested race for the other Africa Group seat. Just like Nigeria, it must receive votes from two-thirds of the 194 Member States present and voting at the time of the election, in order to be announced as the next occupant of the seat.
With West Africa’s slot, the UN General Assembly is expected to elect five non-permanent members to the Security Council for the 2014-2015 term.
Winners at the election will be replacing Togo and Morocco (from the African Group), Pakistan (from the Group of Asia and the Pacific Small Island Developing States), Guatemala (from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States), and Azerbaijan (from the Eastern European Group).The tenure of these five outgoing countries will end on December 31, 2013.
Chile, Lithuania and Saudi Arabia are expected to be elected uncontested too as there is only one candidate running for each of their regional groups.
It would also be recalled that in October 2009,Nigeria had polled 186 votes in October 2009 to be elected to the seat between January 1, 2010 and December 31st, 2011. During the two-year tenure of Nigeria as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof. Joy U. Ogwu, was made to serve as a rotational president of the UN organ but the country could not secure a return in 2012 as it had to wait for another two years to vie for the seat.
The Security Council is one of the main organs of the United Nations, and consists of 15 members: five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members. The former, China, Russia, France, UK, and the United States, all hold the power to veto any resolutions put forth. The other 10 non-permanent members have the power to put forth and vote on resolutions, and hold office for two years, with one group of five rotated every year.