Special Research Report

Posted 24 September 2013
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Security Council Elections 2013

This is Security Council Report’s annual Special Research Report on Security Council Elections. To view the full report, please download the PDF here.

Executive Summary

On 17 October, the General Assembly is expected to hold elections for five members of the Security Council. The new members will take up their seats on 1 January 2014 and will serve on the Council until 31 December 2015. 

The five seats available for election in 2013 will be distributed regionally as follows: 

  • two seats for the African Group, currently held by Morocco and Togo;
  • one seat for the Group of Asia and the Pacific Small Island Developing States (Asia-Pacific Group), currently held by Pakistan;
  • one seat for the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States (GRULAC), currently held by Guatemala; and
  • one seat for the Eastern European Group, currently held by Azerbaijan. 

The Western European and Others Group (WEOG) is not contending this election as its two seats (currently held by Australia and Luxembourg) come up for election every even calendar year. 

At press time, four of the candidates—Chad, Chile, Lithuania and Saudi Arabia—seemed to be headed for a “clean slate” election as sole candidates for their respective regional groups. However, unlike Chile—a UN member state since 1945 that has served four terms on the Council (1952-1953, 1961-1962, 1996-1997 and 2003-2004)—the other three have never been members of the Security Council. Saudi Arabia also joined the UN in 1945, but it is one of four original UN member states that have yet to serve on the Council. (The others are the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Haiti.) 

One race will likely be contested this year as Gambia and Nigeria are competing for the one seat allotted by the African Group to West Africa. Gambia, a UN member state since 1965, has had one term on the Council (1998-1999). Admitted to the UN in 1960, Nigeria has been a Council member four times (1966-1967, 1978-1979, 1994-1995 and 2010-2011). 

The table below shows the number of seats available per region in the 2013 election, the declared candidates and, where applicable, their prior terms on the Council. 

Region Seats Available  States Running and Previous Terms on the Council
Africa 2 Chad (never served), Gambia (1998-1999) and Nigeria (1966-1967, 1978-1979, 1994-1995 and 2010-2011)
Asia-Pacific 1 Saudi Arabia (never served)
Eastern Europe 1 Lithuania (never served)
Latin America and Caribbean 1 Chile (1952-1953, 1961-1962, 1996-1997 and 2003-2004)