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Security Council musical chairs

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16.06.2019

By John J. Metzler

UNITED NATIONS ― In an annual process of diplomatic musical chairs the 193-member U.N. General Assembly has picked five countries to serve on the Security Council as non-permanent members.

Estonia, Niger, Tunisia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Vietnam were elected to two-year terms on the powerful Council starting next January.

The elections, or rather selections, since most of the seats were unopposed are chosen to reflect regional representation from Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe.

The members join the 15-member Security Council which is responsible for international peace and security and controlled by the permanent five veto-holding members ― China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

While there's intense behind-the-scenes lobbying and horse trading by contenders for a place on the prestigious Council, regional groups agree on consensus candidates or new members who never served as in the case of Estonia or the Caribbean island state of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Realistically what does this mean in terms of Council balance and, as importantly, its effect on U.S. policy? Let's first look at the regional groups.

Africa

Niger and Tunisia were chosen unopposed. Both countries........

© The Korea Times