How are Non-Permanent Members of the UNSC elected?

How are Non-Permanent Members of the UNSC elected?

GS3 | International Relations

Table of contents


The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six main organs of the United Nations, tasked with ensuring international peace and security.

  • It has 15 members, five of which are permanent members with veto power (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States).
  • The remaining ten are non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly.
Pakistan, Somalia, Denmark And Others Elected UNSC Non Permanent Members

Read More: What is the United Nations (UN)?

Election Process

General Assembly Vote:

  • The 193-member United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) conducts a secret ballot to elect the non-permanent members of the UNSC.
  • Five of the ten non-permanent seats are up for election each year, ensuring continuity on the Council.

Regional Allocation:

  • The seats are allocated based on regional groups to ensure fair representation:
    • Africa: 3 seats
    • Asia-Pacific: 2 seats
    • Eastern Europe: 1 seat
    • Latin America and the Caribbean: 2 seats
    • Western Europe and Others: 2 seats
  • In this case, Denmark, Greece, Pakistan, Panama, and Somalia were elected, representing their respective regional groups.

Two-Year Term

  • The elected members serve for two years starting from January 1 of the year following their election.
  • For instance, the newly elected members (Denmark, Greece, Pakistan, Panama, and Somalia) will start their terms on January 1.

Responsibilities of Non-Permanent Members


    • Participate in decision-making on international security issues.
    • Vote on resolutions and other measures, though without veto power.

Committees and Working Groups:

    • Engage in various committees and working groups addressing specific issues such as sanctions, peacekeeping, and conflict resolution.

Diplomatic Engagement:

    • Represent their countries and regional interests while working collaboratively with other members to maintain global peace and security.

Key Takeaways

  • The election of non-permanent members is an annual process involving the entire General Assembly.
  • The elected countries represent their regions and contribute to the Security Council’s work without having veto power.
  • These members play a significant role in shaping decisions and actions related to international peace and security.

In summary, the inclusion of Denmark, Greece, Pakistan, Panama, and Somalia as non-permanent members of the UNSC reflects the rotational system designed to ensure diverse representation and participation in the council’s critical functions.

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