ISLAMABAD: Absence of another candidate from the Asia-Pacific Group for a two-year tenure of a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council has enabled India to bag the group’s unanimous endorsement.
India’s candidature for the Security Council’s non-permanent seat was endorsed by the 55-member Asia-Pacific Group on Tuesday.
India’s Permanent Representative at the UN Amb Syed Akbaruddin in a celebratory tweet said: “A unanimous step. Asia-Pacific Group @UN unanimously endorses India’s candidature for a non-permanent seat of the Security Council for 2 year term in 2021/22. Thanks to all 55 members for their support.”
The voting for the seat will take place in the UN General Assembly next year.
Pakistan is part of the group. Therefore, Indians began claiming that Pakistan too had endorsed its candidature. “Any uncontested election gets automatic endorsement from its regional group. And that’s what’s happened from Asia-Pacific group of which Pakistan is a part. India’s election is next year by the General Assembly. Then it’s up to Pakistan how to vote,” a Pakistani diplomat at the UN mission explained to Dawn.
A similar situation took place in 2010.
The 10 seats for non-permanent members at the UNSC have been divided into five regional groups. The Asia-Pacific Group, because of its huge geographical expanse, has relatively looser coordination.
There aren’t either established practices of rotation of the two seats allocated to the group, one of which falls vacant every year.
South Asian countries as a tradition rarely contest each other. The only known exception is that of 1975 when India and Pakistan contested the same seat and Pakistan won after eight rounds of voting.
Pakistan would next run for a non-permanent seat in 2024.
Pakistan has also benefited from the arrangement. The group, including India, recently endorsed Pakistan’s candidatures for the slots of vice president of Economic and Social Council, member of committee on contributions, and member of Unicef’s executive board.
Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2019