Research Report

Posted 2 October 2015
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Security Council Elections 2015

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


The 70th session of the UN General Assembly is scheduled to hold elections for the Security Council on 15 October. Five of the ten non-permanent seats in the Security Council will be filled for the 2016-2017 term. The five seats available for election in 2015 will be distributed regionally as follows:

  • two seats for the African Group (currently held by Chad and Nigeria);
  • one seat for the Group of Asia and the Pacific Small Island Developing States (the Asia-Pacific Group, currently held by Jordan);
  • one seat for the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States (GRULAC, currently held by Chile); and
  • one seat for the Eastern European Group (currently held by Lithuania). 

The Western European and Others Group (WEOG) is contesting no seats this year, as its two seats (currently held by New Zealand and Spain) are up for election every even calendar year.

The five new members elected this year will take up their seats on 1 January 2016 and will serve through 31 December 2017. The procedures governing elections to the Security Council are described in detail in Annex 1 of the full report.

At press time the five candidates seemed to be running unopposed as sole candidates for their respective regional groups. All five candidates have previously served on the Council: 

  • Japan on ten previous occasions (1958-1959, 1966-1967, 1971-1972, 1975-1976, 1981-1982, 1987-1988, 1992-1993, 1997-1998, 2005-2006 and 2009-2010);
  • Egypt on five (1946, 1949-1950, 1961-1962 [as the United Arab Republic], 1984-1985 and 1996-1997),
  • the Ukraine on three (1948-1949, 1984-1985 [The first two terms were as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic] and 2000-2001);
  • Senegal twice (1968-1969 and 1988-1989); and
  • and Uruguay once (1965-1966).

The table below shows the number of seats available per region in the 2015 election, the declared candidates and their prior terms on the Council. 

Region Seats Available Member States Running and Previous Terms on the Council
Africa 2 Egypt (1946, 1949-1950, 1961-1962, 1984-1985 and 1996-1997) and Senegal (1968-1969 and 1988-1989)
Asia-Pacific 1 Japan (1958-1959, 1966-1967, 1971-1972, 1975-1976, 1981-1982, 1987-1988, 1992-1993, 1997-1998, 2005-2006 and 2009-2010)
Eastern Europe 1 Ukraine (1948-1949, 1984-1985 and 2000-2001)
Latin America and Caribbean 1 Uruguay (1965-1966)