1. The Republic of Korea, along with Algeria, Sierra Leone, Slovenia and Guyana, was elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2024-25 term during the elections held at the UN headquarters in New York at 11 p.m. on June 6, Seoul time. This marks the third time that the ROK has been elected as a non-permanent member, following its previous terms in 1996-97 and 2013-14.
2. 192 out of the 193 UN Member States participated in the voting, and the ROK, which was a sole candidate in the Asia-Pacific Group, was elected as a UNSC member in the Asia-Pacific Group, winning 180 votes out of 192 valid votes. To be elected as a non-permanent member of the UNSC, a candidate needs to obtain support from at least two-thirds of the countries present and voting, out of the 193 UN Member States.
3. The Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the UN, which has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security and it closely consults on and seeks solutions to important issues that endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, including armed conflicts around the world. The UNSC is also the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to Member States, if necessary.
4. The Korean government has been working to serve as a non-permanent member of the UNSC in order to strengthen its role as a responsible member of the international community that defends the international order based on rules and universal values enshrined in the UN Charter. Our non-permanent membership of the UNSC is expected to serve as an important opportunity to realize the vision of a Global Pivotal State that contributes to the freedom, peace and prosperity of the international community.
5. In particular, in 2024, the ROK, the U.S. and Japan will simultaneously serve as members of the UNSC for the second time after 1997, and it is expected to provide an opportunity to enhance cooperation and solidarity among the three countries on various global issues.
6. The ROK, as a country that overcame the ravages of war with the support of the international community, including the UN, is deeply aware of the importance of promoting international peace and security through the UN. Based on this understanding, the ROK plans to lead discussions at the UNSC on emerging security issues such as Cyber Security and Climate Security, as well as Peacekeeping, Peacebuilding, and WPS (Women, Peace and Security).
7. In addition, as a primary party involved in the Korean Peninsula issue, we will actively contribute to the UNSC’s response to North Korea's nuclear development threat and be committed to close cooperation among Member States to enable the UNSC to take necessary measures. Particularly, the ROK will be able to play a role as a bridge between developed and developing countries based on its experience of transforming from a least developed country to an OECD DAC donor country.
8. In preparation for its tenure in the UNSC, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will launch a “UNSC Task Force” within the Ministry today. Through this Task Force, the Ministry will establish a cooperative system among the headquarters, the Permanent Mission to the UN, and overseas diplomatic missions to address key issues of the UNSC and contribute to the progress in discussions on each agenda.
9. Since joining the UN in 1991, the ROK has rapidly expanded its roles and contributions within the UN, including being elected as the President of the 56th session of the UN General Assembly in 2001, the appointment of a South Korean as the UN Secretary-General in 2006, and the re-election as the UN Secretary-General in 2011. Currently, Korea's financial contribution to the UN regular and peacekeeping operations (PKO) budget ranks ninth in the world.
10. Our term of office as a non-permanent Security Council member begins on January 1, 2024. Starting five months before the term commences (August 1), newly elected members will be able to access to all communications of the Council, and from three months before (October 1), we will be able to observe, as a newly elected member, all Security Council meetings, including closed meetings among members and consultations on draft resolutions and presidential statements.
11. Five non-permanent members of the UNSC are elected annually at the General Assembly in consideration of the Member States' contributions to the maintenance of international peace and security and equitable geographical distribution, and they cannot serve two consecutive terms. Non-permanent seats are allocated to three countries in Africa, two in Asia, one in Eastern Europe, two in Latin America and the Caribbean, and two in Western Europe and other regions.