Sustaining Peace, Conflict Prevention, Human Rights and Sustainable Development High on Agenda for New Security Council Members
On 8 June 2018, the UN’s General Assembly elected five new non-permanent members of the Security Council for a two-year term. Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia and South Africa will take up their seats in the Security Council on 1 January 2019, replacing Bolivia, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands and Sweden and joining fellow elected members Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Kuwait, Peru and Poland. China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States are permanent Council members.
Each new Council member brings a set of priorities to the UN’s most powerful body. Common themes this election cycle include sustaining peace and conflict prevention, with a special focus on women’s inclusion, human rights and sustainable development. We looked through each new member’s declared agenda for the next two years in the Council and have summarized the main points below.
Belgium will be serving for the sixth time in the Council (1947 – 1948, 1955 – 1956, 1971 – 1972, 1991 – 1992, 2007 – 2008, 2019 – 2020), focusing on the following:
- Defending Human Rights and protecting civilians as a key to conflict prevention and sustainable development, with a special attention to the rights of women and of children, and promoting the protection of civilians in conflict, respect for international humanitarian law and accountability.
- Building sustainable peace, working towards the respect for international law, human rights and the rule of law, the prevention of conflicts, mediation, the non-proliferation of weapons and fighting terrorism with a holistic approach, combining prevention, repression and rehabilitation, while respecting human rights.
- Partnering for sustainable development, focusing on the poorest and most vulnerable countries as part of its Security Council agenda to move ahead with fighting poverty and climate change, ensuring food security, reducing inequalities, improving global health, managing scarce natural resources and promoting women empowerment.
- Fostering consensus, acting for peace, building bridges and foster consensus.
A four-time Council member (1973 – 1974, 1995 – 1996, 2007 – 2008, 2019 – 2020), Indonesia vows to:
- Contribute in creating a global ecosystem of peace and stability by advancing peacekeeping and peacebuilding, as well as women enhanced role therein.
- Promote greater engagement and synergies between the Council and regional organizations in conflict prevention.
- Build synergies between sustaining peace and sustainable development, particularly the 2030 agenda, by forging global partnerships.
- Combat terrorism and radicalism through developing a global comprehensive approach that addresses their root causes.
The Dominican Republic, as a first-time member of the Security Council, will focus its attention on peace, security and the peaceful resolutions of differences, as well as defending human rights and the environment and promoting food security and the role of women and youth. “We will work hard to contribute in the construction of a world focused on human security, for the Latin American and the Caribbean region as well as for the rest of the world, in keeping with our irrevocable commitment to the principles of the UN charter,” the Dominican Minister of Foreign Affairs Miguel Vargas said following the country’s election to the Council.
This will be Germany’s sixth term in the Security Council (1977 – 1978, 1987 – 1988, 1995 – 1996, 2003 – 2004, 2011 – 2012 and 2019 – 2020). The following are the country’s priorities:
- Peace: Engage in “forward-looking and comprehensive conflict management.” Therefore, conflict prevention, stabilization, post conflict peacebuilding and arms control are priorities, according to the German foreign ministry.
- Justice: Promote gender equality and the self-determination of all women and girls, social inclusion and economic, social and cultural rights.
- Innovation: As a “key to peaceful and free societies,” climate policy and equal and high-quality education for all children and young people are top priorities for Germany.
- Partnership: Germany sees development policy as an “investment in the future in order to create structures to share knowledge and ideas and help people to help themselves.” This includes addressing root causes of population displacement in their countries of origin by supporting relief organizations.
South Africa will be serving for the third time in the Council (2007-2008, 2011-2012 and 2019-2020). South Africa pledges to use its term to “promote the maintenance of international peace and security through advocating for the peaceful settlement of disputes and inclusive dialogue.” Another priority is enhancing close cooperation between the Council and regional and sub-regional organizations, especially the African Union. Pretoria aims to focus on preventative diplomacy, addressing the root causes of conflicts and ensuring that a gender perspective is mainstreamed into all Council resolutions, in line with resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security.