The powerful United Nations Security Council has five new member-nations after a vote announced on Friday.
Brazil, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Albania, Ghana and Gabon all sailed into the Security Council, in secret-ballot elections that were unopposed, by a vote of the nearly 200 UN ambassadors from around the world.
The positions are not permanent and will run for two years, before the next elections. The five new nations replace five other nations whose terms will end on Jan. 1. And the new nations join five other non-permanent members: India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway.
A spot on the Security Council is considered extremely valuable. There are five permanent members of the Security Council – the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, China and France – and joining them gives the new nation members the power to influence decisions on any number of topics, from civil war in Syria, to nuclear threats from North Korea, to terrorism in the Middle East.
Nations often get more than one opportunity. Of this year’s five new members, only Albania is a first-timer, while Brazil has served on the Council 10 times in the past.
The UAE said prior to the vote that it wanted to be a “constructive partner” in the work of the Council, including promoting gender equality and countering terrorism.