Group of Asia and the Pacific Small Island Developing States
The Group of Asia and the Pacific Small Island Developing States (often shortened as Asia and the Pacific or Asia-Pacific Group) is one of the five United Nations regional groups and is composed of 53 Member States from Asia and Oceania.
The Group, as with all the regional groups, is a non-binding dialogue group where subjects concerning regional and international matters are discussed. Additionally, the Group works to help allocate seats on United Nations bodies by nominating candidates from the region.
- Brunei Darussalam
- Democratic People's Republic of Korea
- Iran (Islamic Republic of)
- Lao People's Democratic Republic
- Marshall Islands
- Micronesia (Federated States of)
- State of Palestine[d]
- Papua New Guinea
- Republic of Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- Solomon Islands
- Sri Lanka
- Syrian Arab Republic
- East Timor
- United Arab Emirates
- Viet Nam
League of Nations
The precedent of the geographic distribution of seats was set by the United Nation's predecessor, the League of Nations. Under the League's system, a Nomination's Committee was created in order to create election slates for distribution of seats in the Council of the League.
This proved a difficult task as the number of seats was on the Council was constantly changing. However, from 1926 to 1933 an unofficial pattern of distribution emerged where the non-permanent seats on the Council were distributed along the following lines:
- 3 for Latin American states
- 1 for a Scandinavian state
- 1 for a Little Entente state (Czechoslovakia, Romania or Yugoslavia)
- 1 for a member of the British Commonwealth
- 1 for a Far Eastern state
- 1 seat each for Spain and Poland
Under this system, members from the current Asia and the Pacific Group only had two guaranteed seats on the Council, the Far East seat and Japan's permanent seat.
During the drafting of the United Nations Charter, the idea of geographic distribution of seats of the new organisation's bodies was one of the priorities of the drafters. On the United State's recommendation, the very first General Committee of the United Nations was composed of:
- The five permanent members of the Security Council
- 3 Latin American states
- 2 British Commonwealth states
- 2 Eastern European states
- 1 Western European state
- 1 Middle Eastern state
This distribution began the precedent of using regional groups for the allocation of seats in United Nations bodies. For example, the first election to the Economic and Social Council used a similar scheme, allocating seats along the following lines:
- The five permanent members of the Security Council
- 4 Latin American states
- 2 British Commonwealth states
- 3 Eastern European states
- 2 Western European states
- 2 Near East states
However, these arrangements were not formal and were based on "Gentlemen’s Agreements."
Following a wave of decolonisation, there were multiple admissions into the United Nations from Asian and Pacific states. After the Bandung Conference in 1955, there was increasing solidarity among post-colonial states which led to pressure being put on the United Nations for increased representation of these states. This pressure led to Resolution 1192 (XII) of 12 December 1957. This resolution established a formal pattern for distribution of seats on the General Committee awarding four for Asian and African states.
Continued pressure eventually also led to reform of the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council with the passage of Resolution 1991 (XVIII) of 17 December 1963. This resolution formally set up a pattern for the election of members to the Security Council and stipulated that five seats were to be allocated to African and Asian states. It also formally set up a pattern for the election of members to the Economic and Social Council and allocated seven seats for African and Asian states.
After continued decolonisation and an increase in membership of the United Nations, the groups were again modified in 1964. Prior to this African and Asian states were included in the same group. However, theses two regions were split with each one receiving its own group. This split allowed even more geographical distribution of seats among the Member States in different UN bodies.
At its creation, the Group was simply known as the Asia Group. However, by the 1970s, Pacific island nations were gaining independence and joining the group. By the mid-2000s the number of Pacific island nations in the group had reached over one fifth of the membership, so they began to advocate for a change of name of the Group.
These efforts were met with success in 2011 when the United Nations agreed to include "Pacific" in the name of the Group, changing it to the Group of Asia and the Pacific Small Island Developing States at China's insistence. This change in name recognises the growing role Pacific island nations play in the United Nations System.
|India||1 January 2021 – 31 December 2022|
|Viet Nam||1 January 2020 – 31 December 2021|
Economic and Social Council
|Indonesia||1 January 2021 – 31 December 2023|
|Iran (Islamic Republic of)||1 January 2019 – 31 December 2021|
|Bangladesh||1 January 2020 – 31 December 2022|
|Republic of Korea|
Human Rights Council
|China||1 January 2021 – 31 December 2023|
|Bahrain||1 January 2019 – 31 December 2021|
|Indonesia||1 January 2020 – 31 December 2022|
|Republic of Korea|
Presidency of the General Assembly
Every five years in the years ending in 1 and 6, the Asia-Pacific Group is eligible to elect a president to the General Assembly.
The following is a list of presidents from the region since its official creation in 1963:
|Year Elected||Session||Name of President||Country||Note|
|1966||21st||Abdul Rahman Pazhwak||Afghanistan||Also chaired the 5th and 6th emergency special sessions of the General Assembly|
|1976||31st||H. S. Amerasinghe||Sri Lanka|
|1981||36th||Ismat T. Kittani||Iraq||Also chaired the 7th and 9th emergency special sessions and the 12th special session of the General Assembly|
|1986||41st||Humayun Rasheed Choudhury||Bangladesh||Also chaired the 14th special session of the General Assembly|
|1991||46th||Samir S. Shihabi||Saudi Arabia|
|1996||51st||Razali Ismail||Malaysia||Also chaired the 10th emergency special and 19th special sessions of the General Assembly|
|2001||56th||Han Seung-soo||Republic of Korea||Also chaired the 10th emergency special session of the General Assembly|
|2006||61st||Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa||Bahrain||Also chaired the 10th emergency special session of the General Assembly|
|2011||66th||Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser||Qatar|
Timeline of membership
As the Group of Asia and The Pacific Small Island Developing States changed significantly over time, the number of its members had also changed.
|Years||Number of members||Notes|
|1966-1967||26||Afghanistan, Burma, Cambodia, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), China (Republic of), Cyprus, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Syria, Thailand, Yemen|
|1971||28||Republic of China’s Seat is replaced with the People’s Republic of China|
|1971-1974||32||Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates|
|1975-1976||34||Papua New Guinea|
|1991-1992||40||Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federation States of)|
|1992-1994||48||Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan|
|1999-2000||52||Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga|
- United Nations Regional Groups
- List of members of the United Nations Security Council
- List of members of the United Nations Economic and Social Council
- Wanza, Serah N. (27 November 2017). "What Are The Five Regional Groups of the United Nations?". Worldatlas. Worldatlas. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- "Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia. n.d. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
- Agam, Hasmy, and Sam Daws, Terence O'Brien and Ramesh Takur (26 March 1999). What is Equitable Geographic Representation in the Twenty-First Century (PDF) (Report). United Nations University. Retrieved 27 February 2019.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
- "United Nations Regional Groups of Member States". United Nations Department for General Assembly and Conference management. United Nations. n.d. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- United Nations Handbook 2018–19 (PDF) (56 ed.). Wellington: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand. 2018. pp. 15–17. ISSN 0110-1951.
- United Nations General Assembly Session 12 Resolution 1192 (XII). Composition of the General Committee of the General Assembly A/RES/1192(XII) 12 December 1957. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
- United Nations General Assembly Session 18 Resolution 1991 (XVII). Question of Equitable Representation on the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council A/RES/1991(XVIII) 17 December 1963. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
- The GA Handbook: A practical guide to the United Nations General Assembly (PDF) (2 ed.). New York: Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations. 2017. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-615-49660-3.
- "Asian group of nations at UN changes its name to Asia-Pacific group". Radio New Zealand. Wellington. 1 September 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- "UN Recognises The Pacific With Name Change". Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. 3 September 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- "Current Members". United Nations Security Council. United Nations. n.d. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- "General Assembly Elects Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Tunisia, Viet Nam as Non-Permanent Members of Security Council for 2020-2021". United Nations Meetings Coverage & Press Releases. United Nations. 7 June 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
- "Members". United Nations Economic and Social Council. United Nations. n.d. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- "General Assembly Elects 19 Economic and Social Council Members to Terms Beginning 1 January 2020, Adopts Resolution Commemorating Signing of United Nations Charter". United Nations Meetings Coverage & Press Releases. United Nations. 14 June 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
- "Current Membership of the Human Rights Council, 1 January - 31 December 2019 by regional groups". United Nations Human Rights Council. United Nations. n.d. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
- "General Assembly Elects 14 Member States to Human Rights Council, Appoints New Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services". United Nations Meetings Coverage & Press Releases. United Nations. 17 October 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
- "Past Presidents". United Nations General Assembly. United Nations. n.d. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
- Formerly represented by the Republic of China until 1971.
- Permanent member of the United Nations Security Council
- Formerly known as Burma until 1989.
- While the State of Palestine is only a non-member observer state in the General Assembly, it participates fully in the Asia and the Pacific Group.
- Turkey participates the Western European And Others Group, as well as the Asian Group, but for electoral purposes it is considered a member of Western European And Others Group.
- Records of the Department of General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM) (2002-present) at the United Nations Archives