The UN Security Council Tuesday welcomed new members Ecuador, Japan, Malta, Mozambique and Switzerland. This is the first time Mozambique and Switzerland have held seats in the security council.
The council consists of 15 countries. Five of them–China, France, Russia, the UK and the US–are permanent members with veto powers. The other ten members are elected by the 193-nation General Assembly for two-year terms, allocated by whatever global region the countries are located in.
Japan UN Ambassador Kimihiro Ishikane, President of the Security Council for January, commented at the flag ceremony on the need to “uphold the rule of law and consider what we can do for the many people whose security and livelihoods are under threat today.” Ishikane said there were three key elements to success in the role:
Firstly, an active contribution to global peace and security. Secondly addressing the common challenges of international community based on the idea of human security. Thirdly, strengthening the rule of law.
The council, which takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression, is the only UN body authorized to use force to maintain or restore international peace and security. The council can also authorize sanctions, but according to the UN’s website, the council “calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of settlement.”
UN News reported that 192 UN Member States participated in the election. The five newly-elected countries are taking the place of India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway. Their terms ended December 31, 2021. The newly-elected countries will join Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana and the United Arab Emirates around the UN Security Council’s signature horseshoe table.