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Pakistan is on the brink of clinching eighth term in the UN Security Council

United Nations: Pakistan is positioned to secure its eighth term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, as voting takes place on Thursday.

Alongside Denmark, Greece, Panama, and Somalia, Pakistan vies for one of five non-permanent seats. The process involves each regional group presenting a single candidate, termed a “clean slate.”

Pakistan, representing the Asia-Pacific group alongside India, is a strong contender. Unlike the permanent members, who are not subject to elections, non-permanent members are chosen through a rotational system within regional groups, often through consensus.

India and Pakistan, despite their historical rivalry, often lend support to each other’s candidacies in these elections, showcasing diplomatic pragmatism amidst their differences.

All five candidates bring previous experience serving on the UNSC: Pakistan has held the seat seven times, Panama five times, Denmark four times, Greece twice, and Somalia once.

The 2024 election offers five seats, distributed among various regional groups: one for Africa, one for the Asia-Pacific, one for Latin America and the Caribbean, and two for the Western European and Others group (WEOG). Newly elected members will commence their terms on January 1, 2025, serving until December 31, 2026.

These incoming members inherit a world facing heightened tensions, fueled by events like the conflict in Palestine and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These disputes have fractured the Security Council, with member states advocating different stances on issues ranging from humanitarian crises to disarmament.

The Palestinian conflict, in particular, has sparked sharp divisions among UNSC members, with the US staunchly backing Israel’s actions in Gaza, while others denounce Israeli offensives as ‘genocidal’ and call for an immediate ceasefire.

Since the outbreak of hostilities, the UNSC has voted on 11 draft resolutions, adopting three. The war’s regional fallout has intensified tensions in other UNSC agenda items, including Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

Denmark, Greece, and Panama, among the current candidates, maintain strong ties with Israel. While all three abstained from a General Assembly resolution for a Gaza humanitarian truce on October 27, 2023, Panama also abstained from a December 12, 2023, UNGA resolution for an immediate ceasefire. However, Denmark and Greece supported the latter resolution.

Pakistan and Somalia, both members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, supported both resolutions and criticized Israel’s conduct during the war. All five candidates supported a UNGA resolution granting new rights to Palestine and urged the Security Council to reconsider Palestine’s UN membership request.

Regarding Ukraine, Pakistan abstained from all four resolutions, while Somalia supported the first and fourth and was absent from the second and third votes. The UN anticipates these countries to play a bridge-building role between Russia and Western members.

Pakistan is expected to actively engage on Afghanistan, given the cross-border attacks by the Pakistani Taliban. Additionally, as one of the largest troop-contributing countries to UN peacekeeping, Pakistan is likely to focus on peacekeeping issues and emphasize its national counterterrorism efforts during its tenure on the Security Council.

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