Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 June 2023:
Five countries including Sierra Leone were yesterday elected as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council following a vote in the General Assembly. Algeria, Guyana, Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone and Slovenia will join the UN body responsible for maintaining international peace and security for a two-year term starting 1st January 2024. Belarus – a country closely supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was not elected.
Guyana received 191 votes, Sierra Leone 188, Algeria received 184 votes, South Korea 180.
Sierra Leone and the four elected countries will replace Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana and the United Arab Emirates whose terms will end this December.
The Security Council is composed of 15 countries, five of which – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – are permanent members, granting them the right to veto any resolution or decision. It is the only U.N. body that can make legally binding decisions such as imposing sanctions and authorizing the use of force in any part of the world.
To ensure geographical representation, seats are allocated on a regional basis. But even if candidates are running unopposed in their region, they still need to win the support of more than two-thirds of the General Assembly which comprises of 193 UN Member States.
Overall, 192 countries voted yesterday to fill three Council seats allocated to the Africa and Asia-Pacific Groups, and one each for Eastern Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Slovenia beat Belarus in the race for Eastern Europe, receiving 153 votes versus 38, while Algeria, Guyana, Sierra Leone and the Republic of Korea ran unopposed.
The five newly elected countries will join Ecuador, Japan, Malta, Mozambique and Switzerland as non-permanent members of the Council.
Celebrating Sierra Leone’s success yesterday, President Bio said: “It is with profound honour and a deep sense of fulfilment to convey the news that Sierra Leone, for the first time in 52 years and for only the second time in our nation’s history, has been elected as a Non-Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council for the term 2024-2025.
“Our candidacy was anchored on the theme of Partnership, Multilateralism and Representative Approach to Sustained Global Peace and Security, and Sierra Leone was elected by an overwhelming majority of the United Nations General Assembly, running as an endorsed candidate of the African Union.
“Our return to the UN Security Council is a generational accomplishment and a testament to my SLPP Government’s transformation of Sierra Leone’s international reputation and standing and our immense foreign policy gains over the past 5 years. Our presence on the UNSC represents our unique success as a democratic and peaceful country of resilience and unbounded optimism. One that successfully transitioned from war to peace while working in partnership with the United Nations. A country no longer defined by the stigma of the past. A beacon of hope and fortitude. A place of great belief that the future will be better, more just and more peaceful because of the investments we are making today in an inclusive and sustainable future.
“As Sierra Leone accedes to this primary global decision-making organ on peace and security matters at the United Nations, let me, on behalf of every Sierra Leonean, express our profound gratitude to our African brothers and sisters and their governments for their unwavering and unconditional demonstration of solidarity. Sierra Leone’s success is Africa’s success. I also thank the member States of the UN for their overwhelming support and trust in the people and Government of Sierra Leone under my leadership.
“On this momentous day, I call on every Sierra Leonean to hold their head high, celebrate, and be proud of Sierra Leone’s historic achievement at the heart of the international system.”