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UN adopts new voting procedure during COVID-19 pandemic

UN Adopts New Voting Procedure During COVID-19 Pandemic

UNITED NATIONS – The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Friday adopted a new voting procedure for the upcoming election of new members of the Security Council aimed at preventing a large rally and ensuring social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of meeting in the horseshoe-shaped meeting room at the UN headquarters overlooking the East River in New York, the ambassadors of the 193 UN member countries will vote by secret ballot in a designated place during spaced time slots.
And they will vote not only for five non-permanent members of the Security Council for a two-year term, but for 18 new members of the Economic and Social Council from 54 countries for a three-year term.
Under the new procedure, the President of the General Assembly will send a letter to all member states at least 10 working days before the first secret ballot for the two elections to inform them of the date and place where the polls are to be held, filed, and other relevant information.
The election of the Security Council was scheduled for June 17, but it is unclear whether that will remain the date.
The Security Council has five permanent members – the United States, Russia, China, Great Britain and France – and 10 members elected by the General Assembly for a two-year term. Five countries are elected each year.
The council is the most powerful organ of the United Nations and winning a seat is a summit for many countries as it gives them a strong voice on international peace and security issues, ranging from conflicts in Syria, Yemen and in Ukraine to the nuclear threat posed by North Korea and Iran, and attacks by extremist groups such as the Islamic State and al-Qaida.
This year, seven countries are competing for five seats and there are two hotly contested races.
In the group of Western countries, Canada, Ireland and Norway compete for two seats, and in Africa, Kenya and Djibouti compete for one seat. India is unopposed for the seat of Asia-Pacific and Mexico is unopposed for the seat of Latin America and the Caribbean.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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