UNITED NATIONS: Estonia, Niger, Tunisia, Vietnam and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines were elected to the UN Security Council on Friday as the top UN body struggles to agree on how to confront global conflicts.
The five newcomers will join the council in January for a two-year stint, replacing Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Poland and Peru.
The election comes at a time of diplomatic deadlock at the council, which has been unable to agree on a response to several crises, from Syria to Myanmar, Venezuela or Sudan.
Five countries — Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States — have a permanent seat on the 15-member council and enjoy veto power over any decisions.
The 10 other non permanent members are elected for two-year terms to serve on the UN’s most powerful body, tasked with addressing threats to international peace and security.
During a secret ballot at the General Assembly, Estonia squared off with Romania for the eastern European seat while Saint Vincent and the Grenadines faced a last-minute challenge from El Salvador for the Latin America seat.
The three other countries ran unopposed, having been selected as the candidate of their regional bloc.
Vietnam picked up 192 votes, Niger and Tunisia 191 votes each and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines won 185 votes against six for El Salvador during the ballot in the 193-member assembly.
Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2019