October 2010 Monthly Forecast


Security Council Elections

Expected Action
The General Assembly is expected to hold elections on 12 October for five members of the Security Council. The five new members will take up their seats on 1 January and will serve on the Security Council for the period 2011-2012.

(Please see our Special Research Report on Security Council Elections 2010 published on 17 September. This report gives detailed background about the election process.)

The five seats available for election in 2010 will be distributed regionally as follows:

It appears that only the WEOG seats will be contested, with three candidates for two seats: Canada, Germany and Portugal.

The uncontested seats are South Africa for the African seat, India for the Asian seat and Colombia for the GRULAC seat:

By contrast the two WEOG seats are contested by three candidates:

The table below indicates the number of available seats by region, the declared candidates and their previous experience on the Council.


Available Seats in the 2010 Election

States Running

Years Served Previously

on the Council



South Africa

One term of two years




Six terms comprising 12 years
(1950-1951, 1967-1968, 1972-1973, 1977-1978, 1984-1985, 1991-1992)

Latin American and Caribbean



Six terms comprising 12 years
(1947-1948, 1953-1954, 1957-1958, 1969-1970, 1989-1990, 2001-2002)

Western European and Others Group





Six terms comprising 12 years
(1948-1949, 1958-1959, 1967-1968, 1977-1978, 1989-1990, 1999-2000)

Four terms comprising eight years*
(1977-1978, 1987-1988, 1995-1996, 2003-2004) (*NB: East Germany represented the Eastern European Group in 1980-1981)

Two terms comprising four years
(1979-1980, 1997-1998)

The Council in 2011
The composition of the Council in 2011 is expected to be highly interesting. Brazil, India, Nigeria and South Africa will be on the Council concurrently. All four are major emerging countries and key stakeholders in both regional and global institutions. In addition, if Canada and Germany were to join them this would put ten members of the G20 in the Council concurrently.

Moreover, five UN members who have asserted bids for permanent Council membership could be on the Council in 2011.

2011 could see the strongest group of global stakeholders ever assembled on the Council. This could create a unique positive dynamic. But it is difficult to predict whether it will foster a more proactive and effective Security Council.

Special Research Report No. 3 on Security Council Elections 2010 published on 17 September contained an error. Guatemala is currently expected to be the sole GRULAC candidate for the 2012-2013 term, rather than Ecuador as mistakenly stated.

Full forecast

Subscribe to receive SCR publications