6 December 2013
General Assembly

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-eighth General Assembly


61st Meeting (AM)

General Assembly Elects Jordan as Non-Permanent Security Council Member,

Appoints Morocco to Economic and Social Council

Delegations Honour Nelson Mandela

With Minute of Silence, as Headquarters Flag Flies at Half-Mast

The General Assembly today elected Jordan as a non-permanent member of the Security Council and appointed Morocco as a member of the Economic and Social Council’s Committee for Programme and Coordination.

Prior to the elections, General Assembly President John Ashe ( Antigua and Barbuda) asked all delegates to stand for a minute of silence in tribute to the memory of former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died on 5 December.

Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson then announced that the United Nations flag had, moments ago, been lowered outside the Hall in the late leader’s memory.  However, today was also a celebration of Mr. Mandela’s life, he stressed, noting that in a world too often divided by vicious cycles of violence and revenge, the ability to forgive had been one of the former President’s most admired characteristics.  His fight had been for all the people of South Africa.

“The peoples of the world stood in solidarity with Nelson Mandela in his struggle against apartheid,” he said.  “We must continue to strive to walk in his footsteps, inspired by his life and his example.”

Jeremiah Mamabolo ( South Africa) thanked the Assembly on behalf of President Jacob Zuma, the Mandela family and the South African people.  He hoped that as people revisited Mr. Mandela’s life and contribution to humanity, they would use it to recommit themselves to the values and practices for which he stood.  The Assembly had honoured his life and work by declaring 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day.

On the Assembly’s behalf, Mr. Ashe gave his sincere condolences to Mr. Mandela’s family and the people and Government of South Africa, for the loss of the greatest architect and champion of the new South Africa and the new Africa.  The world looked to the legacy of Mr. Mandela because he had chosen forgiveness over revenge and hope over despair.

Known by his clan name, Madiba, Mr. Mandela personified true democratic leadership, moral fortitude and heroic courage, he continued.  He embodied the highest values of the United Nations and demonstrated the difference one person could make in the face of adversity, oppression and prejudice, while maintaining humility, humour and modesty that was so rare among people of his stature.

The United Nations family, Mr. Ashe said, would continue to honour his legacy on Nelson Mandela International Day.  Yet the best tribute would be to embrace his ideals, values and convictions.  “In doing so, we can emulate his contributions to peace in our world and ensure that the legacy of Madiba remains with us for all time,” he said.  To pay tribute to Mr. Mandela, the General Assembly membership would hold a special meeting at a date to be announced.

The Assembly then turned to its agenda items on elections.  Delegates heard that after the 17 October election of Chad, Chile, Lithuania, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia as non-permanent Security Council members, the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia had subsequently indicated that his country would not be in a position to assume its seat on the Council.

After one round of voting, the General Assembly elected Jordan to serve as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for a two-year term beginning 1 January 2014.

Regarding the appointment of Morocco to the Economic and Social Council’s Committee for Programme and Coordination, the Assembly recalled paragraph 16 of General Assembly decision 34/401, whereby the practice of dispensing with the secret ballot should be standard for elections to subsidiary organs when the number of candidates corresponded to the number of seats to be filled.

The General Assembly thus declared Morocco an elected member of the Economic and Social Council’s Committee for Programme and Coordination, to serve a three-year term beginning 1 January 2014. 

Member States were also reminded that the Economic and Social Council had decided to postpone the nomination of three members from Western European and Other States for election by the General Assembly, two members for terms beginning on the date of election and expiring on 31 December 2014, and one member for a term beginning on the date of election and expiring 31 December 2015.  The Economic and Social Council also decided to postpone the nomination of one member from Asia-Pacific States for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 2014 and expiring on 31 December 2016.

The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Monday, 9 December to consider its agenda item on Oceans and Law of the Sea.

Voting Results

African and Asia-Pacific States


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Saudi Arabia


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For information media • not an official record