By Alfred Koroma
Sierra Leone was yesterday 6th June 2023 elected as non-permanent member of the UN Security Council following a vote in the General Assembly.
The country returns to the UN Security Council for the second time in 52 years after first serving the council in 1971.
Six countries vied for the five non-permanent seats, but Sierra Leone went nearly unopposed together with Algeria, Guyana and the Republic of Korea while Slovenia beat Belarus in the race for Eastern Europe.
Sierra Leone and the other newly elected countries will now join the premier body tasked with the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. They will serve in the body for a two-year period starting from January 2024.
The countries will take up the seats which are presently occupied by Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana and the United Arab Emirates when their two-year terms end on the 31 December.
Immediately after news of Sierra Leone’s elected the UNSC broke out, President Julius Maada Bio reacted his Twitter page, describing the day of the election as a momentous day and called on Sierra Leoneans to hold their heads high, celebrate, and be proud of the country’s historic achievement at the heart of the international system. He thanked the member States of the UN for their overwhelming support and trust in the people and Government of Sierra Leone under my leadership.
The UN Security Council is made up of 15 countries. Five of them – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States are permanent members, possessing the right to veto any resolution or decision of the UN.
The 10 non-permanent members, where Sierra Leone will start serving in January are elected by the General Assembly, which comprises all 193 UN Member States.
To be elected into the non-permanent category of the Security Council, a country needs 128 votes (two-thirds) of the member states votes at the UN General Assembly session.
Overall, 192 countries voted to elect Sierra Leone and the other countries which will join Ecuador, Japan, Malta, Mozambique and Switzerland as non-permanent members of the Council.