On 17th June, Norway together with India, Ireland and Mexico, won non-permanent seats on the coveted UN Security Council for the committee’s 2021-2022 term. The 15-member council is the most powerful U. N. body. For the next two years Norway has won seat on UN Security Council.
The Security Council has 10 non-permanent seats, each serving a term of two years. The body also features five permanent members: the United States, China, France, Russia and the United Kingdom. Permanent members have the power to exercise a veto on any resolution.
The world needs more international cooperation
‘We would like to thank the UN member states for the confidence they have shown in us. The world needs more international cooperation to promote peace and security. We will make use of our seat on the Security Council to strengthen this work,’ said Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
India, the world’s largest country without a permanent position on the Security Council, ran unopposed for a seat allocated to its geographic region. Mexico also ran without an opponent. Norway was elected with 130 votes. Ireland was elected with 128 votes.
The elections were conducted under stringent rules this year for the first time because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has left much of the United Nations headquarters complex in New York closed to all but essential workers at least through July. Ambassadors who ordinarily would congregate in the General Assembly hall for the voting were instead admitted a few at a time in a staggered system, dropping secret ballots in a box and leaving.
Norway congratulated Ireland, India and Mexico
‘I congratulate Ireland, India and Mexico on their successful election to the Security Council today. We look forward to cooperating closely in the Council. Serving on the Council is one of the most demanding responsibilities a country can shoulder in international politics’, Ms. Solberg said.
Countries must claim two-thirds of the votes from the U.N. General Assembly to sit on the Security Council. A seat on the Security Council is therefore considered a coveted honor in international diplomacy. Council members have a prominent voice on issues of peace and security, including the wars in Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan, the nuclear weapons harbored by North Korea, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and armed extremist groups like the Islamic State and Al Qaeda.
‘We were three very strong candidates competing for two seats on the Security Council. Canada and Ireland are close partners of Norway in international cooperation. We will strive to maintain our strong relationship with both countries in the time ahead, both within and outside the UN Security Council’, Ms Solberg said.
The council’s resolutions are binding, even if many go unenforced. It also is the only U.N. body authorized to approve the use of military force, and is empowered to refer cases of genocide and other crimes against humanity to the International Criminal Court for prosecution.
With its authority to approve peacekeeping operations, the Security Council represents an opportunity for many smaller countries to exercise greater power on an international level. In a press release, the Norwegian Government states it will give priority in the Security Council to areas where Norway has particular experience and expertise.
Building bridges and seeking solutions to seemingly intractable conflicts
“We will use the experience gained from many years of engagement in peace and reconciliation efforts to build bridges and seek solutions to the seemingly intractable conflicts that appear on the Security Council’s agenda. International law and human rights will form the basis for our efforts. Norway will cooperate closely with all members of the Security Council and will promote constructive cooperation. Norway will give special priority to efforts to strengthen the protection of civilians, including children, and to promote women’s role and participation in international peace and security work,” it says.
Norway won seat on UN Security Council, compiled by Tor Kjolberg