Brazil, UAE, Albania, Ghana and Gabon win UN council seats

The United Nations elected five countries to join the powerful U.N. Security Council on Friday with all being unopposed -- Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Albania, Ghana and Gabon

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The United Nations elected five countries to join the powerful U.N. Security Council on Friday with all being unopposed — Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Albania, Ghana and Gabon.

General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir announced the results of the secret-ballot vote and congratulated the winner.

The five new council members will start their terms on Jan. 1, replacing five countries whose two-year terms end on Dec. 31 — Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam.

They will join the five veto-wielding permanent members of the council — the United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom and France — and the five countries elected last year: India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway.

Winning a seat on the 15-member Security Council is considered a pinnacle of achievement for many countries because it gives them a strong voice on issues of international peace and security.

 This ranges from conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Mali and Myanmar to the nuclear threat posed by North Korea and Iran, and attacks by extremist groups such as the Islamic State and al-Qaida.

It will be Albania’s first time serving on the council and Brazil’s 11th time, which will tie Japan as the country elected to the council for the most two-year terms.

There had been a three-way race for two African seats but Congo dropped out on Monday.

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