Nigeria scored a major endorsement on the world stage Thursday as it secured a seat on the United Nations Security Council, UNSC, as non-permanent member. Nigeria garnered 186 votes to join Saudi Arabia, Chile, Chad and Lithuania to replace Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo to serve a two-year term on the 15-nation strong Council from January 1, 2014.
The UNSC is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.
Charged with the establishment of peacekeeping operations, establishment of international sanctions and the authorization of military action, according to the United Nations Charter, the UNSC comprises the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China, who all wield veto powers and have permanent seats on the Security Council while the other 10 seats which have no veto power, are awarded for two year periods by the General Assembly, which holds an election every year for five of the seats.
A breakdown of the votes indicate that Lithuania got 187 votes, Chile and Nigeria each picked 186 votes, Chad secured 184 votes and Saudi Arabia 176 votes.
Nigeria and its tiny neighbor – Chad – will be replacing Togo and Morocco from the African block.
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has commended all member countries of the UN that voted Nigeria into the Security Council.
In a statement yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Dr. Reuben Abati, the President said Thursday’s endorsement of Nigeria’s candidature for the UNSC seat by the vast majority of member-countries is a glowing expression of support and encouragement for Nigeria’s active participation in the promotion of peace, security and political stability in Africa and other parts of the world.
The statement further stated that “This is the fourth time since it became independent in 1960 that Nigeria is being elected to the UN Security Council. It is also the second time (2010-2011 and 2014-2015) that Nigeria will be elected to the Council under the Jonathan Presidency.
“The President is particularly delighted by this historic victory and assures the global community that Nigeria, under his leadership, will continue to make very significant contributions towards the achievement and sustenance of global peace and security.”
Similarly, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, has described Nigeria’s election as an unprecedented feat and a testament to the achievements of the Jonathan-led PDP administration.
In a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in Abuja on Thursday, the ruling party said the development had clearly shown that the world appreciated the efforts of the present administration in repositioning our country through the President’s Transformation Agenda.
He said, “The securing of the UN seat is a clear evidence that the world acknowledges President Jonathan’s efforts towards security, economic wellbeing and political stability of our dear country.
“President Jonathan has indeed distinguished himself as a statesman and a world leader, who has given his country a strong voice in matters dealing with international peace and security.
“Nigerians world over can now hold their heads up high. We are indeed very proud of our dear President who has remained focused on delivering on his mandate; a commitment that has today resulted in the restoration of the dignity of our country and her pride of place in world affair.”