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UNSC seat assured for India from Asia-Pacific region

UNSC seat assured for India from Asia-Pacific region

UN General Assembly President Tijjani Muhamad-Bande is holding consultations on how to conduct elections for non-permanent UN Security Council seats if the Covid-19 lockdown continues, says his spokesperson Reem Abaza.

The elections are important for India which is assured of the seat due to overwhelming support from the Asia-Pacific countries.

Muhamad-Bande held a virtual meeting on Thursday with officials and leaders of the UN regional groups. He also circulated proposals from the UN Secretariat for holding elections which are due next month.

The UNSC is in a dilemma as the UN remains closed due to the severity of Covid-19 in New York city. Though in-person meetings remain suspended, Abaza said a decision on elections is expected soon.

Non-permanent seats are allocated on a regional basis where India has mustered unanimous support from countries in the Asia-Pacific region. It seeks to fill up for Indonesia, which completes its two-year term at the end of this year.

China and Pakistan toed along with the consensus because of the overwhelming support for India. This ensures India's election but the formality of a vote still needs to be done.

One of the proposals calls for in-person voting with representatives coming in batches during prearranged time slots to maintain social distancing and voting with paper ballots under the supervision of Secretariat staff.

Another is through online voting, which the Secretariat is looking into. Under this system, designated members of delegations will get a password and will vote through the system known as e-deleGATE portal.

Unlike votes on resolutions, which are held openly, the elections to the Security Council, the International Court of Justice and the Economic and Social Council are held by secret ballot.

Once elected, India will join Vietnam that was elected last year on the Security Council as a non-permanent member from the Asia-Pacific region.

Mexico is running uncontested for the Latin America and Caribbean region seat.

Kenya and Djibouti are facing off for the Africa seat, while Canada, Ireland and Norway are competing for the two seats for the West European and other countries..