UN Security Council seat: Nigeria knows fate today

Nigeria will today know its fate as it contests the election of the one non-permanent seat of the United Nations Security Council.   The Gambia, which was the only challenger of Nigeria for the seat, had stepped down. Indeed, The Gambia has been elected to the position only once since 1965 when it gained independence from Britain. That was in 1998 to 1999.

The seat had been zoned to West Africa, and hitherto The Gambia had faced Nigeria for the position, in spite of Nigeria’s lobby and campaign by President Goodluick Jonathan even during his recent visit to the United Nations General Assembly.

However, for today’s election, which holds around 3:00pm (8:00pm Nigerian time) at the Security Council’s Chambers inside the United Nations Headquarters in New York, it still needs to be ascertained how things will play out in favour of Nigeria.
The Security Council has 15 seats, filled by five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members. Each year, half of the non-permanent members are elected for a two-year term.

Nigeria had been a Council member four times (1966-1967, 1978-1979, 1994-1995 and 2010-2011).  The newly elected winners will take up their seats on January 1, 2014, and will serve on the Council until 31 December 2015.
For Nigeria, it requires a two/thirds majority to represent West Africa in the Council.  President Jonathan had, during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly, made a strong case for Nigeria to be elected to the seat.
According to him, the nation’s laudable performance on previous occasions when it held a non-permanent seat in the Security Council, should assure the global community that the country deserves to be elected to the council again for the 2014-2015 session.

“Our support for the United Nations Security Council in its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security has been total and unwavering. We have, in previous membership of the Council, demonstrated both the political will and capacity to engage in key Council responsibilities.

“I am pleased to state that Nigeria has received the endorsement of the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union.  We, therefore, urge this august Assembly to endorse Nigeria’s candidature for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council,” he said.

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