Ecuador, Japan, Malta, Mozambique and Switzerland were on Thursday elected to serve two-year terms on the UN Security Council, beginning in January, after each ran unopposed for five vacant seats.
All five candidate nations received more than 180 votes in the 193-member UN General Assembly in the ballot, each of them easily achieving the two-thirds support needed from the chamber.
General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid posted on social media his “heartfelt congratulations” to the five incoming members, who will replace India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway on January 1, 2023.
Switzerland, which has a long history of diplomatic neutrality, and Mozambique are newcomers to the council and will take their seats at the chamber’s famous horseshoe-shaped table for the first time.
The Security Council has 10 seats for temporary members, but it is dominated by its five permanent members — Russia, China, the US, Britain and France — which hold the power of veto.
The council meets regularly on threats to international peace and security and makes the ultimate decisions on resolutions to impose sanctions, authorise the use of military force and launch peacekeeping missions.
Members take turns to hold the council’s presidency each month, during which they manage the agenda, preside over meetings and decide on topics for debate.
The UAE is currently serving a two-year term in the chamber, which will end in December 2023.
The body is often deadlocked on issues where the permanent members disagree, such as Syria, Myanmar and Ukraine. It is frequently criticised for reflecting the postwar geopolitical realities of the mid-1940s, when the institution was founded.