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President Mohamud celebrates Somalia's historic election to UN Security Council

Thursday June 6, 2024

Mogadishu (HOL) — President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has hailed Somalia's election to the United Nations Security Council, marking a significant stride in the nation's recovery and international standing. The two-year term will allow Somalia to enhance its role in global peacekeeping and cooperation, reflecting the international community's recognition of the country's progress and governance.

President Mohamud reiterated his gratitude to the member countries of the Security Council and the regional and continental allies that supported Somalia's bid. "The diplomatic success we achieved today reflects the world's recognition of Somalia's efforts and development, particularly in the recovery and reconstruction of our nation," President Mohamud said. "It is an opportunity for us to contribute to global safety and security."

Somalia secured 179 votes from the 193-member General Assembly, meeting the two-thirds majority requirement. This marks the first time in 52 years that Somalia has won a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, last holding the position in 1972.

Ambassador Ahmed Moalim Fiqi, Somalia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, praised the country's diplomatic efforts. "Our tenure will be guided by full commitment to multilateralism and respect for the principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter," Fiqi stated. He also emphasized Somalia's intention to strengthen cooperation between the Security Council and regional organizations, including the African Union.

Somalia's bid received strong backing from the African Union, which endorsed Somalia as the sole candidate for the African seat during its 44th Ordinary Session of the AU Executive Council in February 2024. This endorsement led to the withdrawal of other contenders, including Mauritius and Madagascar, clearing the path for Somalia's successful election.

The United Nations Security Council comprises 15 members, including five permanent members—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—who hold veto power. The other ten members are elected for two-year terms. Alongside Somalia, the other newly elected non-permanent members are Denmark, Greece, Pakistan, and Panama, who will serve from January 1, 2025, to December 31, 2026.

The election results were as follows: Denmark received 184 votes, Greece 182, Pakistan 182, and Panama 183. These nations will replace Ecuador, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, and Switzerland, whose terms will end on December 31, 2024.

Human Rights Watch, however, voiced concerns about the uncontested nature of the elections. Louis Charbonneau, UN Director for the NGO, commented, "Uncontested elections for seats on the Security Council or any other UN body make a mockery of the word 'election.' Member countries should give themselves a choice so governments responsible for serious human rights abuses can be rejected."

Despite these criticisms, Somalia's election marks a pivotal moment in its international relations. As it takes its place on the Security Council, Somalia aims to leverage this position to further regional and global peace and security efforts. 


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