Russia Takes Over UN Security Council Presidency on Saturday

© REUTERS / Lucas JacksonMembers of the United Nations Security Council
Members of the United Nations Security Council - Sputnik International
Russia took over the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council from New Zealand on Saturday, October 1.

An ongoing United Nations Security Council meeting convenes at the UN headquarters Monday, Jan 19, 2015 - Sputnik International
Russia Takes Over UN Security Council Presidency, Plans to Keep an Eye on Syria
UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) The first council meeting under Russia's presidency is due to take place on Monday, when the current 15 members will discuss the program for the month ahead.

A total of 20 meetings are planned for October, according to the Russian UN mission. They will focus on conflicts on the African continent, including those in Darfur, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, the Central African Republic and South Sudan. The Middle Eastern security issue will also be dealt with, including the conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Libya. The regular quarterly open debate on the Middle East, focusing on the Israel-Palestine conflict, will take place on October 19.

An important event to be held during the Russian presidency is the October 28 debate on UN cooperation with regional blocs.

"The main event of the Russian presidency will be the October 28 debates on UN cooperation with regional organizations, such as the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Commonwealth of Independent States," the Russian mission told RIA Novosti.

The Security Council is set to vote for the next UN secretary-general on October 5. The current UN chief Ban Ki-moon will leave his post in late December and the council must make its recommendation on the next head to the UN General Assembly. New voting procedures will be used, with the winning candidate having to secure majority support in the Security Council as well as avoid any opposing votes from its five permanent members.

Portugal's former Prime Minister Antonio Guterres is currently the favored candidate after five rounds of voting in the Security Council.

"The council will continue, and possibly conclude, the process of working out a recommendation to the General Assembly," the Russian mission said.

The Security Council's president is chosen in alphabetical order. Russia will hand over the post to Senegal in November.

The UN Security Council comprises five permanent members, including Russia, the United States, France, the United Kingdom and China, as well as 10 rotating non-permanent members that are chosen for a period of two years. The current non-permanent members are Angola, Egypt, Venezuela, Spain, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, Ukraine, Uruguay and Japan.

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