Rwanda elected to UN Security Council

  • By Edwin Musoni
  • October 19, 2012

THE United Nations General Assembly yesterday elected Rwanda to one of the rotational seats on the UN Security Council for the 2013-2014 term. 

(L)The Ugandan High Commissioner to Rwanda, Richard Kabonero,(R) Dean of Faculty of Law at the National University of Rwanda, Dr. Emmanuel Ugirashebuja.
Along with Argentina and Australia, Rwanda was elected on the first ballot. 

Rwanda was unopposed in her bid for the Africa seat, but needed to win a two-thirds majority of the 193-member General Assembly. Rwanda won 148 votes.

Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo thanked UN members for the faith they have shown in Rwanda.

 “We are grateful to have won the support of so many of our fellow member states who responded to our message. Rwanda values peace and we are honoured to serve.  We particularly thank our friends and allies throughout Africa for their overwhelming support,” Mushikiwabo said.

Rwanda, which enjoyed unanimous backing of the African Union, last served on the Security Council in 1993-94 during which period the country endured Genocide which left more than one million people butchered.

Rwanda is an active member of the UN and the sixth largest contributor to peacekeeping operations worldwide.

“The contrast could not be sharper between that previous tenure -- when a genocidal government occupied a prized Security Council seat as its agents waged genocide back home -- and the Rwanda of today: a nation of peace, unity, progress and optimism,” Mushikiwabo said.

She stressed how this troubling recent history allows Rwanda to offer a unique perspective on matters of war and peace at the Security Council.

 “Working with fellow members, Rwanda will draw on its experience to fight for the robust implementation of the responsibility to protect doctrine that demands that the world takes notice -- and action --when innocent civilians face the threat of atrocities at the hands of their governments, with the understanding that situations have specificities that need to be taken into account,” Mushikiwabo said.

The minister promised that Rwanda would seek opportunities to work with fellow UN Security Council members to ensure it is responsive and reflective of the views and aspirations of the developing world, in particular the African continent.

“The world is undergoing a period of exciting but uncertain change.

“Africa is not just growing economically, but our vision and the contribution we can make to the world is also expanding.  Over the next two years, we hope to ensure that this new reality is reflected in the way the UN Security Council conducts itself in the 21st century,” Mushikiwabo said.

Despite a candidate-less campaign against Rwanda, complete with the leak of a UN Sanctions report two days before the vote accusing it of supporting the M23 mutineers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda still won the elections in the fist round as other countries entered the second round.

Rwanda will be replacing South Africa whose term expires in December.

The development meant a lot to Rwandans as many of them expressed their excitement on social networking sites.

The Council is the highest decision making organ at the global body, particularly on matters of maintaining peace.

Rwanda will now represent the eastern and southern Africa region for a two-year term commencing on January 1, 2013.

In accordance with the Security Council’s rotation rules, ten non-permanent UN Security Council seats rotate among the various regional blocs into which UN member states traditionally divide themselves for voting and representation purposes.

Under the procedure, countries are unofficially divided into five geopolitical regional groups; Rwanda belongs to the Africa Group, with 54 member states that translate into 28 per cent of representation at the UN.

The Africa Group is the largest regional grouping by member states with three seats.

By press time, the general assembly had entered another round of voting to decide who wins the second seat. Cambodia, Bhutan and South Korea are also competing for one available Asia-Pacific seat.

Reactions on the election

“We congratulate the government of Rwanda and we have utmost confidence that it will effectively represent the interests and aspirations of the continent.” said the Ugandan High Commissioner to Rwanda, Richard Kabonero,

"It shows solidarity among African nations. The continent supported Rwanda through the African Union and the East"

African Community, as a bloc, also did. There wasn’t any African country that was challenging Rwanda, which shows how much trust Africa has in Rwanda as a nation.” said the Dean of Faculty of Law at the National University of Rwanda, Dr. Emmanuel Ugirashebuja.

Contact email: edwin.musoni[at]


Rwanda shall prevail and shall win over haters like HE Paul Kagame keeps predicting

03:28:48 Friday 19th, October 2012 South America - Alain Kamanzi

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I wonder how Ibigarasha (kayumba, rudasingwa, rusesa, karegyeya, gahima) and all the haters out there feel about this great news 4 Rwanda. Congrats 2 the gvt and the people of Rwanda. LA LUTTE CONTINUE!

04:14:21 Friday 19th, October 2012 Sudbury, Ontario, Canada - Ntare Batinya Kayitate (101 batallion forever!)

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The UN Group of Experts must be on suicidal watch, having watched helplessly as Rwanda got seat at the UN Security Council. This group of experts decided to leak information portraying in bad light yet again. "Evil proposes, God opposes", so say the people in Amazonia.The UN Group of Experts is again hunting for publicity, having published a baseless report portraying Rwanda in bad light. For those not in the know, the report falsely claimed that Rwanda was supporting the M23. Initially, the report was widely received as credible, but later it cast a lot of doubts in the Western mind, albeit privately. It was after this report that the big bosses decided to keep the group of experts on a short leash. Never will this group publish anything without thorough review. So, when the UN Group of Experts decided to publish another report on M23 so as to continue their divisive policy of turning neighbor against neighbor. This time, this group decided to add another country, Uganda. If they failed with Rwanda, adding Uganda may prove successful, they hoped. The first report missed its mark by kilometers, so adding Uganda might do the trick. When the report went up for review, it came back down three times thinner. A lot of junk had been taken out, angering the chief “expert” of the report. It was then decided to leak the report with the omitted information to the media, so as to influence public opinion in their favor. Last time I checked, the only people receptive to this nonsense were the DRC officials, who went on record to say that there should be an investigation because the matter is so serious. The DRC government is also doing propaganda of its own: M23 is working with FDLR! Really? This is a strange world indeed.

04:52:45 Friday 19th, October 2012 USA - Michael Rwiyamilira

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A well-deserved victory in the face of a concerted, sustained and, at the end, a hysterical but ultimately doomed campaign from a well-connected cabal of anti-Rwanda forces in the NGO industry, the UN secretariat, some Western chanceries, all using a stenographic Western media devoted to their cause. I understand that at the beginning of Rwanda's campaign HRW's Roth boasted that Rwanda would get into the security council only over his dead body. I don't wish him that, just that he learns that, despite George Soros hundreds of millions of dollars, Rwanda is a country that defends her agaciro very effectively even with her modest means allied to her well-earned reputation as an achiever. In the end it wasn't even close despite the usual attempts at painting her as isolated globally, 147 of her peers voted for her and put a spanner in last minute attempts at derailing Rwanda's campaign. The wishful attempts to paint Rwanda as isolated reminds one of what the British used to say: fog in the Channel, Europe isolated! Let's hope these people's ludicrous shenanigans stop from now. They would then be surprised to find that, despite her justifiable anger at their underhanded tactics, Rwanda is always pragmatic in the interest of real regional security and global peace and will work with anyone who shares those aspirations, even the likes of HRW, if they come to the table with genuine intentions to work for human rights rather than using them as a tool to feather their own self-aggrandising agenda.

06:11:55 Friday 19th, October 2012 - Mwene Kalinda

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I congraculate Rwandans upon the victory for the UN elected sit for all this time.The motive for promoting peace in Rwanda and entire world will remain a strong desire for Rwandans.

08:07:58 Friday 19th, October 2012 Kampala - MUGABI Aaron

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If there is one lesson to draw from this vote it is truth, resilience and dignity. Perhaps Hege and will declare an end to his anti tutsi cheap and outdated propaganda. Rwandans and the now the world are wiser than he imagines. This near unanimous world vote is a vote for a united rwanda pursuing peace, progress and dignity for rwandans and africans.

08:59:17 Friday 19th, October 2012 kigali - brian

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Congratulations to the Rwandan Government, the team that led this process

09:05:53 Friday 19th, October 2012 Geneva - MB

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As much as I am excited for my country Rwanda to have proved "haters" wrong, I am even more excited for seeing African united for an African cause. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL RWANDAS AND THUMBS UP FOR AFRICA.

09:23:07 Friday 19th, October 2012 Kigali - Stella Ford

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Congraculations up on this Landslide election success on UN security Council! This just affirms what Rwanda is very Good at- I mean bring peace and security to People. This gives Rwanda a qualification to take our best practices and long time rich experience to the rest-of-the-World's benefit. What, I think Rwanda expects, is the readiness of all Countries on the Planet to receive the benefits of Rwanda's contribution.Like in Rwanda, we always walk the talk and so the UN and the World should count on Rwanda's Quality Delivery on this important assignment.

10:27:17 Friday 19th, October 2012 Kanombe-Kigali - Edmond Kabagambe

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Al Jazeera is still saying Rwanda was elected "controversially"! Doesnt 148 UN Member states' votes, cast in the first round, by secret ballot sound more like landslide than controversial? Dont they have the word near unanimous in their vocabulary? Before the day ends they will be saying the election was rigged, there was ballot stuffing and demanding a re-run or recount!! Pres Kagame always says thats the world we live in. Indeed it is.

12:31:33 Friday 19th, October 2012 kigali - john

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Hege fought, HRW fought, Amnesty Int'l fought, Inyenyeri fought, Ibigarasha fought many furious fighters emerged from the blues. But they had fighters only. Rwanda beat them at Commanders. Thank you Mr President.

16:34:17 Friday 19th, October 2012 kigali - alan

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The ultimate measure of Rwanda is not where it stands in times of comfort but where it stands at times of challenge and controversy. (adapted from Martin Luther King Jr)

16:46:29 Friday 19th, October 2012 new york - olive

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I congratulate Rwanda for that well deserved victory...

17:18:07 Friday 19th, October 2012 Nairobi, Kenya - Ndung'u NDEGWA

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Congratulations Rwanda and our president in particular. mureke abavuga bavuge naho twebwe turebe imbere gusa.

17:38:04 Friday 19th, October 2012 Kigali - Kanobana Felicien

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Rwanda's election to the UN Security Council unoposed shows that Africa holds Rwanda in high regards due to exceptional leadership of President Paul Kagame, the number 1 cheerleader of Rwanda. The win is aslo an indication of the trust and confidence the world has in Rwanda, and that, too, is attributed to Rwanda's Number One Salesman, Mr Paul Kagame, who tirelessly travels around the globe advertising Rwanda as a peaceful and business friendly country. No wonder then, that big companies, such as Bharti Airtel of India, the number three telephone company in the world, has seen light and opened business in Rwanda.

17:39:09 Friday 19th, October 2012 USA - Michael Rwiyamilira

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It's very interesting while that all french news sites are not reporting this diplomatic victory by Rwanda. browsing those french news sites i noticed most of them are not reporting, or are reporting discretly the news with no metion of Rwanda in the title.This is a win for Rwanda and a failure for those so called NGOs, France

18:28:19 Friday 19th, October 2012 Toronto - Douglas

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With not doubt The Lord is on our side. Long Live Rwanda with your Leadership.

02:27:30 Saturday 20th, October 2012 Kigali - Habiyambere Abel

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