In May 2019, WFUNA hosted a UN Security Council Elections Briefing with Estonia for the contested seat within the Eastern European Group (EEG), for which Estonia and Romania are competing. Estonia confirmed their participation in an Election Debate; however, Romania declined. As a result, the event became a UN Security Council Elections Briefing on Estonia’s candidature.
The Briefing was attended by over 140 participants from Permanent Missions (Member and Observer States), UN Agencies, Civil Society Organizations and the media, including representatives from 90 different Permanent Missions. Additionally, the event was webcast on UN Web TV and promoted on social media with the hashtag #UNSCElections to allow for participation from a global audience and wider stakeholder engagement.
Candidates from regional groups running for uncontested seats were also invited to hold a joint briefing on priorities for their term on the Council. The candidates for the uncontested seats this year are: Vietnam from the Asia-Pacific Group, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines from the Latin American and Caribbean Group, and Tunisia and Niger from the African Group for which there are two seats. WFUNA aims to hold election briefings in 2019 with the four nations assuming uncontested seats for the 2020-2021 term.
In addition to hosting the debates and briefings, this year WFUNA also aims to build an online platform where candidate positions, campaigns and promotional materials can be easily accessed through a one-stop-shop, public website; and co-host regional consultations in partnership with UN Associations of candidate countries to the UNSC. Working with governments and civil society, these consultations would serve to inform the general public of the work of the Council and raise awareness of their countries’ priorities.
With the precedent set, WFUNA is committed to continuing to host these debates and briefings and will maintain its role as convener and coordinator in this effort to advance openness, dialogue and transparency at the UNSC.
The inclusion of civil society from UNHQ and around the world further allows WFUNA to uphold its mandate in lessening the gap between the UN to the wider international community.