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UN Security Council Gets Five New Members
216 days ago
(RTTNews) - Australia and Argentina were among the five nations elected to the UN Security Council (UNSC) by the UN General Assembly on Thursday. The new members will serve as non-permanent members on the 15-member UN Security Council (UNSC) for the next two years.
The other three nations elected to the UNSC on Thursday were Luxembourg, the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and Rwanda. All the five nations will serve in the Council for two years, with their terms beginning on January 1, 2013.
The five nations obtained the minimum required two-thirds majority, or 129 votes, in Thursday's secret ballot at the 193-member UN General Assembly. The newly-elected members will replace Colombia, Germany, India, Portugal and South Africa, whose terms end on December 31, 2012.
While the UN General Assembly elected Argentina, Australia and Rwanda in a first round of balloting held at the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday, the Republic of Korea and Luxembourg were elected in a second round of voting.
The UNSC has 15 members, with each member having one vote. The five other current non-permanent members in the UNSC are Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo. Their terms will be completed at the end of 2013.
The remaining five slots in the UNSC are reserved for the veto-power holding permanent member-states, namely China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Under the UN Charter, the UNSC has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. The Charter also stipulates that all Member States are obligated to comply with UNSC decisions.
Further, the UNSC takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression. It calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of settlement. In some cases, it can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.
The UNSC also makes recommendations to the General Assembly on the appointment of the Secretary-General and the admission of new Members to the United Nations. Together with the General Assembly, the UNSC elect judges to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
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