New Security Council Members Elected, Including Controversial Rwanda

Along with South Korea and Australia, election results are in on the SC’s new term members:

Argentina, Rwanda and Luxembourg also were elected yesterday to fill seats on the 15-member Council, the highest decision-making body of the world organization. Bhutan, Cambodia and Finland ran and failed to get enough votes from the UN’s 193 members to win any of the five contested seats.

via S. Korea, Australia Among Five to Join Security Council – Businessweek.

Rwanda’s victory is called a “dreadful day and very sad ay for Africa” by Atoki Ileka, Congo’s ambassador to France, amid allegations that it is the power behind an uprising of M23 rebels involving arms embargo violations, child soldiers and prisoner executions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


7 thoughts on “New Security Council Members Elected, Including Controversial Rwanda”

  1. The election of these 5 countries might offer a new dynamic to the Security Council, but I am still of the same opinion as Richard Gowan: nothing has really stopped “the U.S., China and Russia from working together to make sure they rule the roost at the UN.”

    I feel like this is a sad reality. The big powers in the UN impede other less-significant, but still-interested countries from effecting their own innovative ideas that could potentially solve a lot of issues. Is it really beneficial to voice an opinion, a viewpoint, or a potential solution if all efforts that would otherwise resolve a crisis will only get squashed by the simple act of one of 5 countries raising their placard in opposition to giving it a try?

    Of course, none of this was conveyed in a joke that Pres. Obama reportedly made to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with regards to South Korea becoming a new member of the Council. According to The Korea Times, “Ban quoted U.S. President Barack Obama as joking to him that South Korea is now governing the world in reference to high-profile positions Koreans have [recently] taken over.”

    But then again — even Korea Times acknowledged this statement as a joke.

    So what was the real message being conveyed?

  2. My country is Rwanda, so this article is of particular interest to me.It is interesting to see that many European countries are withholding aid from Rwanda for this presumed association with the M23. It is reported that Kigali supplied the M23 with heavy weapons and recruitment. In addition, Rwanda has been accused of harboring war criminals. Rwandan and Ugandan officials have denied the accusations.

  3. Despite the allegations against it, Rwanda still received the 2/3 vote it needed to be elected a member of the Security Council. It received 148 from a possible 193 votes. The Congolese government has called for Security Council sanctions against Rwanda because of the M23 rebels. With Rwanda now on the Security Council, that is a definite conflict of interest for them. Rwanda still denies the accusations in the report and claims that it will be a responsible member of the Security Council. The other newly elected members are less controversial, and overall the new members probably will not make a huge difference in the decisions the Security Council makes because of the power held by its permanent members.

  4. Security Council diplomats have said that it is unlikely that the 15-nation council would impose penalties in response to the report’s findings about the M23 issue. France, meanwhile, introduced a draft statement calling on Rwanda and Uganda to halt their support for M23. The draft, which is still being negotiated, condemns the M23 and governments providing it with “external support” — a veiled reference to Rwanda and Uganda. It also calls on all states, including Rwanda and Uganda, to step up cooperation with the Group of Experts, and demands that they “ensure the safety of its members, and unhindered and immediate access, in particular, to persons, documents and sites.” (

  5. I remember a few weeks ago in class, someone talked about Australia’s desire to be a permanent member of the Security Council. This is Australia’s fifth time on the Security Council and this is a big step for them. It will give them a lot more power as they continue to push for SC reform. This link is for an essay that evaluates the steps Australia is taking to reform the Security Council, as well as what they did to get enough support to be elected to the non-permanent seat. One step being the withdrawal of troops from Iraq a few years ago.

  6. As aforementioned, I don’t think the fact that Rwanda is now on the Security Council will really change things. The P5 will continue to dictate most of the decisions made and actions taken. I do, however, think it’s great that Rwanda was able to receive the 2/3 vote needed to join this council. I think it shows that the United Nations is open-minded and that they are willing and ready for some changes. I’ll be interested to see if this ignites any other surprises from the UN.

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