Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Ethiopia gets non-permanent UN Security Council seat

(Jun 28, 2016, (DW))-- Ethiopia is to be a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for two years. The country may spread peace while on blue helmet missions abroad, but critics complain that political space at home is contracting.

The vote at the UN General Assembly electing Ethiopia as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council turned out to be largely a formality because Ethiopia ran unopposed in its regional grouping. Africa heads of state and government had agreed on Ethiopia as a joint candidate at their summit in January, when Kenya and the Seychelles withdrew from the contest.

Ethiopia may have run unopposed but it still had to pick up two thirds of the votes cast in the 193-nation assembly. It was backed by numerous African states, including Rwanda whose candidacy Ehtiopia backed in 2013/2014, and by Brazil. Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Viera said Ethiopia "with its extensive experience in regional, African and global peacekeeping missions" could make "an immense contribution" to the UN Security Council.

Regional gendarme
Ethiopia's participation and experience in peacekeeping in Africa was a trump card in its bid for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council. Its contingent of 8,000 troops - men and women - on peacekeeping duties is the largest in the world. (The official promotional literature says Ethiopia has the biggest number of female peacekeepers worldwide.) Read more from DW »

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