On Tuesday, Ethiopia was elected as Angola’s replacement for the non-permanent seats of the United Nations (UN) Security Council. Senegal and Egypt presently occupy the other two seats reserved for Africa.
The UN Security Council has five permanent members (Russia, France, the United States, the UK, and China) and 10 non-permanent members who are eligible to serve two-year terms.
Ethiopia easily won the election to the Security Council seat after the other two African opponents, Seychelles and Kenya, to its candidacy withdrew from the running. It also received overwhelming endorsement from the member states of the African Union.
Ethiopia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry welcomed the election and described the vote by the UN General Assembly as proof of Ethiopia’s standing in the international committee of nations, adding that the election “ha[s] given Ethiopia its assent to serve on the council for a third term after 26 years of absence.”
Ethiopia was last elected to serve on the UN Security Council seat in 1989/1990, and it was one of a few African countries that were part of the founding members of the United Nations in 1945, when it was formed to replace the League of Nations.
Other countries who won election seats on the Security Council include Bolivia and Sweden, which secured their seats after the first round of secret balloting. Kazakhstan, however, had to wait until a second round of voting before edging out Thailand for a seat reserved for Central Asia.
The elections, however, resulted in a stalemate for the council seat reserved for Western Europe as both Italy and the Netherlands were tied with 95 votes each.
Both countries have, however, proposed a system that would see them split the two-year tenure in half with each country serving for one year, thus replicating a common trend in the middle of the last century where countries deadlocked in the voting split the term between each other.
Ethiopia is expected to officially replace Angola on January 1, 2017.