UNITED NATION, JUNE: After ten years India again elected as UN Security Council member for a year. The UN General Assembly also elected three other new members of the Security Council for 2021 and 2022, with Canada losing out again and the battle for the African seat going to a second round.
India, Mexico, Norway and Ireland were chosen as non-permanent members, while Djibouti and Kenya both of which failed to receive the two-thirds vote majority required to win will go to a second round of voting on Thursday.
Canada was beaten once again for one of the Western seats, by Ireland and Norway, despite a long and star-studded campaign, a result likely to be a blow to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
In the Asia-Pacific region, India which has been trying unsuccessfully to win a permanent seat in an expanded Security Council ran unopposed to win 184 votes out of the 192 countries that participated in the election.
The result means that India will now have a seat at the same table as China, just days after the two nations disputed their Himalayan border, trading blame for a brawl that left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead.
Mexico, which also ran unopposed, earned 187 votes. African nations have in the past picked their own candidate but were unable to put forward a single country this time. Kenya received 113 votes against Djibouti, which got 78.
Kenya boasts of enjoying the support of the African Union, but Djibouti says it should have the seat due to Nairobi’s past participation on the Security Council and the principle of rotation.
French-speaking Djibouti and English-speaking Kenya are both highlighting their roles in seeking peace on the Horn of Africa, as well as their contributions to UN peacekeeping options.
Kenya has pointed to its welcome to refugees from Somalia and South Sudan, as well as to its support to the two countries’ fragile governments.
Djibouti, in turn, notes its strategic location and unusual role as a defense base for diverse countries France, the United States, China and Japan as well as its contributions in Somalia.
Canada already stung by a defeat in 2010 during its last bid for the Security Council, when the General Assembly chose Portugal instead was dominated by Norway, with 130 votes, and Ireland, which had 128, the minimum number required to win.