The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), Marcelo Ebrard, on Wednesday announced that Mexico is among the countries that have been selected as non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council for the committee’s 2021-2022 term.
“I have the honor to report that Mexico has been elected by 187 votes to be a member of the Security Council of the United Nations Organization. Great recognition of our country from around the world,” the Mexican foreign minister proclaimed via a post on his official Twitter account.
The Security Council is the U.N.’s most powerful body and has 5 permanent members – the United States, Russia, China, Britain, and France – and 10 members elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms, with seats allocated to regional groups.
Five new council members are elected every year. This year, Canada, Ireland, and Norway battled for two Western seats, while Kenya and Djibouti competed for one African seat. India ran unopposed for the Asia-Pacific seat and Mexico ran unopposed for the seat for Latin America and the Caribbean.
All candidate countries – even those that are running unopposed in their group – must claim two-thirds of the votes from the U.N. General Assembly to sit on the Security Council.
In previous years, ambassadors from all U.N. member states would gather in its vast General Assembly chamber to vote by secret ballot, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the world body to adopt new rules. This year, to avoid a large gathering and ensure social distancing, ambassadors wearing masks were given time slots for voting and spread out in the chamber to mark their ballots.
Canada lost out to Ireland and Norway in a hotly contested election in the council’s “Western European and others” group. India and Mexico’s uncontested bids for the Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean seats were approved.
Neither Kenya nor Djibouti gained the required two-thirds majority to win the Africa seat on Wednesday, but in a second round of voting held Thursday, Kenya defeated Djibouti, and will join Norway, Ireland, India and Mexico for a two-year term that will start on Jan 1, 2021 and end on Dec 31, 2022.
Because of the Security Council’s mandate to ensure international peace and security and its powers, including authorizing war and imposing sanctions, winning a seat is considered a pinnacle of achievement for many countries.
On Thursday, the SRE opened a thread on Twitter that stated: “The United Nations Security Council is one of the six main organs of the UN, charged with guaranteeing international peace and security, recommending the admission of new members to the General Assembly and approve any changes to the United Nations Charter.”
Mexico has been part of the council five times previously. The first was in 1946, just after the Second World War; the second was from 1980 to 1981, during the presidency of López Portillo; the third in 2001 to 2002, during the period of Vicente Fox’s transition, and the fourth in 2009 to 2010, when Felipe Calderón had instituted the so-called war on drugs.
Wednesday’s win will once again give Mexico political weight when dealing with international concerns. In addition to this, our country will have a seat on the organization’s most powerful board, where cutting-edge security policies will be established and global demands for peace will be met.