United Nations Security Council election, 2013

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United Nations Security Council election, 2013
United Nations
← 2012 17 October and 6 December 2013 2014 →

5 (of 10) non-permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council

UNSC 2014.svg
United Nations Security Council membership after the elections

Elected Members before election

 Morocco (Africa, Arab)
 Togo (Africa)
 Guatemala (LatAm&Car)
 Pakistan (Asia)
 Azerbaijan (E. Europe)

New Elected Members

The 2013 United Nations Security Council election was held on 17 October 2013[1] during the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly, held at United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The Assembly elected Chad, Chile, Lithuania, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia for five non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council for two-year mandates commencing on 1 January 2014.[2] The following day, Saudi Arabia announced that it was declining the seat, accusing UNSC of using "double standards" and being unable to resolve important issues in the Middle East.[3] A second round of voting therefore took place on 6 December,[4] in which Jordan was elected to the Council in lieu of Saudi Arabia.


The Security Council has 15 seats, filled by five permanent members and ten non-permanent members. Each year, half of the non-permanent members are elected for two-year terms.[5][6] A sitting member may not immediately run for re-election.[7]

In accordance with the rules whereby the ten non-permanent UNSC seats rotate among the various regional blocs into which UN member states traditionally divide themselves for voting and representation purposes,[8] the five available seats are allocated as follows:

To be elected, a candidate must receive a two-thirds majority of those present and voting. If the vote is inconclusive after the first round, three rounds of restricted voting shall take place, followed by three rounds of unrestricted voting, and so on, until a result has been obtained. In restricted voting, only official candidates may be voted on, while in unrestricted voting, any member of the given regional group, with the exception of current Council members, may be voted on.

The five members are expected to serve on the Security Council for the 2014–15 period.


African Group[edit]

 Gambia[12] — Withdrew[13]

Latin American and Caribbean Group[edit]


Asia-Pacific group[edit]

An Arab state is due to take a seat on account of the custom of rotation of the unofficial "Arab seat" between the Arab states belonging to the African and Asian groups and the expiry of the term of the previous Arab member, Morocco, whose term expires in 2013.

 Saudi Arabia[11][12][15]
 Jordan — Declared candidacy after Saudi Arabia declined its election to the Council[4]

Eastern European group[edit]

 Georgia[11] — Withdrew on 30 April 2013 for diplomatic and financial reasons[16]


There were 191 secret ballots cast in each segment of the vote.[18]

African and Asia-Pacific Groups[edit]

Day 1[edit]

African and Asia-Pacific Groups election results[18]
Member Round 1
 Nigeria 186
 Chad 184
 Saudi Arabia 176
 Gambia 2
 Senegal 2
 Lebanon 1
abstentions 0
required majority 128


Following the vote, Saudi Arabia, despite winning, declined to take the seat citing the UNSC's "double standards" in being allegedly ineffective in regards to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, nuclear disarmament in the Middle East and putting an end to the Syrian civil war.[3][19] This was the first time a state had rejected a Security Council seat.[20] Saudi Arabia's refusal of the seat surprised both United Nations diplomats and some observers inside the country, where the announcement of the election had been received favorably.[20] The Gulf Cooperation Council supported Saudi Arabia's bid.[21] In addition, Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan suggested a distancing of Saudi Arabia–United States relations as a result of the same issue over the Syrian civil war, amongst other reasons.[22] On 12 November, Saudi Arabia formally declined the seat, advising the Secretary-General that it "would not be in a position to take the seat on the Security Council to which it was elected."[23]

Day 2[edit]

A second vote was held on 6 December to fill the vacancy created by the rejection of Saudi Arabia to take the seat it was elected to. Prior to the vote, the General Assembly honoured Nelson Mandela, who had died the previous day. There were 185 ballot papers.[24]

African and Asia-Pacific Groups election results[24]
Member Round 1
 Jordan 178
 Saudi Arabia 1
invalid ballots 2
abstentions 4
required majority 120

Latin American and Caribbean Group[edit]

Latin American and Caribbean Group election results[18]
Member Round 1
 Chile 186
abstentions 5
required majority 124

Eastern European Group[edit]

Eastern European Group election results[18]
Member Round 1
 Lithuania 187
 Croatia 1
abstentions 2
invalid votes 1
required majority 126

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Arab swing seat alternates every two years between the Asian and the African groups.[10]


  1. ^ "Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly: Report by the Secretary-General" (PDF). United Nations. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Chad, Chile, Lithuania, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia elected to serve on UN Security Council". United Nations. 17 October 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Saudi Arabia declines UN Security Council seat". Asharq Al-Awsat. 2013-10-18. Archived from the original on 2013-10-19. Retrieved 2013-10-22. 
  4. ^ a b "UN General Assembly sets Dec. 6 election to choose Jordan for 2-year Security Council seat". Montreal Gazette. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  5. ^ United Nations Security Council (2008), Repertoire of the practice of the Security Council, p. 178, retrieved 3 November 2011 
  6. ^ Conforti, Benedetto (2005), The law and practice of the United Nations, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, p. 61, retrieved 3 November 2011 
  7. ^ "Charter of the United Nations, Article 23". Un.org. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  8. ^ Resolution 1991 A (XVIII), dated 1963-12-17, in force 31 August 1965. See also the notes accompanying Rules 142 to 144 of the Rules of Procedure of the General Assembly and Item 114(a) (page 175) of UN Document A/66/100, Annotated preliminary list of items to be included in the provisional agenda of the sixty-sixth regular session of the General Assembly.
  9. ^ "Asian group of nations at UN changes its name to Asia-Pacific group", Radio New Zealand International, 31 August 2011.
  10. ^ "Special Research Report No. 4: Security Council Elections 2011". United National Security Council Report. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f "First Timers Chad, Georgia, Lithuania and Saudi Arabia Among Those Vying for UNSC Seats in 2014–15". UN Tribune. 10 April 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f "Security Council Elections 2013". Security Council Report. 25 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  13. ^ Oluwarotimi, Abiodun (16 October 2013). "Security Council Poll: Nigeria Knows Fate Tomorrow". Leadership. Abuja, Nigeria. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  14. ^ "La candidatura de Chile al Consejo de Seguridad y el proceso de La Haya". La Pr1mera. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  15. ^ "Saudi Arabia scheduled to be UNSC non-permanent member for 2014–15". Kuwait New Agency. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  16. ^ "Georgia will not nominate its candidacy for non-permanent members of UN Security Council by 2014". Trend. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  17. ^ "Address of H.E. Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of the Republic of Lithuania, at the United Nations General Assembly Session in New York". 22 September 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  18. ^ a b c d "General Assembly Elects Chad, Chile, Lithuania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia As Non-Permanent Members of Security Council: New Candidates Sail Through After Single Ballot". United Nations. 17 October 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  19. ^ McDowall, Angus (16 October 2013). "Saudi Arabia, angered over Mideast, declines Security Council seat". Retuers. 
  20. ^ a b ALAN COWELL, RICK GLADSTONE and ROBERT F. WORTH (18 October 2013). "Saudi Arabia Rejects Security Council Seat". The New York Times. 
  21. ^ "GCC backs Saudi Arabia rejection of UN seat - Middle East". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  22. ^ "Saudi to reassess relations with US: report - Middle East". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  23. ^ United Nations, General Assembly, Letter dated 12 November 2013 from the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, A/68/599 (14 November 2013), available from undocs.org/A/68/599
  24. ^ a b "General Assembly elects Jordan as non-permamnent Security Council member, appoints Morocco to Economic and Social Council". United Nations Department of Public Information, News and Media Division, New York. Retrieved 6 December 2013.