New York: In a single round of voting today (8 Jun,) the United Nations General Assembly elected Germany, Indonesia, South Africa, the Dominican Republic and Belgium as non-permanent Members of the Security Council, and each will serve two-year terms on the body that sets the UN’s whole peace and security agenda.
They will fill the seats being vacated by Bolivia, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Netherlands and Sweden at the end of this year, having each served two-year terms on the 15-member Security Council. The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, said its tenure in the Council “will be dedicated to the legacy of Nelson Mandela, out icon, and his commitment to peace.” Nkoana-Mashabane announced that marking Mandela’s centenary “there will be a peace summit here in the UN General Assembly in September, at which we will be unveiling his statue to the public.” The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, Retno Lestari Priansari Marsudi, said Indonesia’s election “is not only a recognition to our long-standing contribution to international peace and security, but also a statement of confidence in our commitment and capacity.” She said, “becoming a member of the Council is not about rights but obligation to contribute to the maintenance of peace and security.” The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic, Miguel Octavio Vargas Maldonado, said the Dominican Republic’s agenda “will be centered in defending the environment and climate change; the promotion of human rights; food security; the role of women and youth; peace and security as well as the peaceful resolution of disputes.” This will be the Dominican Republic’s first time on the Security Council with the other four countries having previously served on the body. Heiko Maas, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, said “we want to honor this trust we have received. We want to be a recognizable and loud voice in the Security Council for peace, but above all, for the future of a multilateral world order and a rule of law based order. Rules that we have established through decades of hard work, most of all here at the United Nations.” Belgium and Germany; the Dominican Republic, and South Africa, ran unopposed from their respective regional groups, while Indonesia secured its place following a run-off with the Maldives for the Asia-Pacific Group seat. The five new members will take up their seats from 1 January 2019.