Elections to the United Nations Security Council and the Human Rights Council

Security Council meets on MH17 tribunal

Election of five non-permanent members of the Security Council
In accordance with Article 23 of the Charter, as amended, [By an amendment dated 17 December 1963 (resolution 1991 A (XVIII)), which came into force on 31 August 1965, the General Assembly increased the number of non-permanent members of the Security Council from 6 to 10. The Security Council consists of five permanent members (China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States of America) and 10 non-permanent members elected by the General Assembly for a term of two years. In accordance with rule 142 of the rules of procedure, the General Assembly elects each year five non-permanent members of the Security Council. At its eighteenth session, in 1963, the Assembly decided that the non-permanent members of the Council should be elected according to the following pattern (resolution 1991 A (XVIII)):

  1. Five from African and Asian States;
  2. One from Eastern European States;
  3. Two from Latin American States;
  4. Two from Western European and other States.

At its sixty-first session, the General Assembly elected five non-permanent members of the Security Council (decision 61/402) [page 4]. At present, the Council is thus composed of the following 15 Member States.

As stipulated in rule 144 of the rules of procedure, a retiring member is not eligible for immediate re-election. In accordance with rule 92 of the rules of procedure, the election is held by secret ballot and there are no nominations. Under rule 83 of the rules of procedure, the non-permanent members of the Security Council are elected by a two-thirds majority.

Security Council FAQs

Election of the Human Rights Council members
In accordance with paragraph 7 of General Assembly resolution 60/251 the Council shall consist of 47 Member States, which shall be elected directly and individually by secret ballot by the majority of the members of the General Assembly.

The membership shall be based on equitable geographical distribution, and seats shall be distributed as follows among regional groups:

  • Group of African States (13)
  • Group of Asia-Pacific States (13)
  • Group of Eastern European States (6)
  • Group of Latin American and Caribbean States (8)
  • Group of Western European and other States (7)

The members of the Council shall serve for a period of three years and shall not be eligible for immediate re-election after two consecutive terms.

In accordance with paragraphs 4 and 5 of General Assembly resolution 65/281, from 2013, the Human Rights Council will start its yearly membership cycle on 1 January. Also, as a transitional measure, the period of office of members of the Human Rights Council ending in June 2012, June 2013 and June 2014 will exceptionally be extended until the end of the respective calendar year.

Member States who have chosen to announce their candidacies in writing are listed below. Voluntary pledges that Member States have chosen to provide in support of their respective candidacies, in accordance with paragraph 8 of General Assembly resolution 60/251, are issued as General Assembly documents in all official languages.

Human Rights Council FAQs