Sierra Leone and four other nations elected to U.N. Security Council

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.”



  1. Imagine this, if our membership in the UNSC could only be meaningful when we move from being a beggar state to a mega state, why are our politicians and presidential Candidates not Campaigning on enabling us to feed ourself for a start? Yet they are busy pointing Vicious fingers at one and other….

  2. The Security Council is composed of 15 members—five (US, Russia, China, Britain and France) are permanent members; and 10 are non-permanent members.

    The 10 non-permanent members are elected by the General Assembly and serve for two years. The seats are allocated according to region. Africa has three seats.

    Since 1946, 45 African countries have been elected to serve in the Council. Only nine countries haven’t been elected so far: Lesotho, Eswatini, Comoros, South Sudan, Malawi, Seychelles, São Tomé and Principe, Central Africa Republic and Eritrea.

    Nigeria and Egypt have been elected five times; Algeria, Gabon, Ghana and Tunisia four times; and Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia three times.

    Sierra Leone and 15 other countries have been elected twice. Sierra Leone was first elected to the Council in 1970.

    The five permanent members have veto powers and control the affairs of the Council. Aid dependent countries in the Council generally lack clout or a real foreign policy. They are largely pawns in the strategic calculations of the permanent members.

    The only time an African state made waves in the Security Council was in the 1970s when Tanzania’s Permanent Representative, the charismatic Salim Ahmed Salim, pursued an activist, anti-imperialist and pro-Africa policy, and played a lead role in the admission of China to the UN. That cost him the job of the UN Secretary General when he contested for it against Kurt Waldheim in 1981. Waldheim had served two terms as Secretary General, from 1 January 1972—31 December 1981 and wanted an unprecedented third term.

    Salim was vetoed by the US and opposed by the Soviet Union (the latter because of his support for China). Waldheim, on the other hand, was vetoed by China. Remarkably, the US and China used their veto in 16 rounds of voting over a six week period—a record at the time. Salim and Waldheim were forced to step aside and Javier Pérez de Cuéllar of Peru emerged as a compromise candidate.

    Africa’s membership of the Security Council will only be meaningful when the current multiple beggar states are transformed into few mega states.

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