The UN has elected its newest members, on the top UN body, which has all powers to impose, sanction and authorize. New Zealand, Malaysia, Angola, Spain and Venezuela have won seats on the United Nations Security Council for two years from January 1, 2015. The 193-member UN General Assembly elected Venezuela with 181 votes, Malaysia with 187 votes and Angola with 190 votes.These three countries campaigned unopposed for their seats after being chosen as the candidates for their respective regional groups, but still needed to win the votes of two-thirds of the General Assembly to secure their spots.

The job of the Security Council based in the New York City is to maintain international peace and security and it has the powers to set up peacekeeping operations; implement sanctions; and authorise military action.The five permanent members are China; France; Russia; United Kingdom; United States. The permanent members have the power to veto resolutions. There are also 10 non-permanent members serving two-year terms. They are currently Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, South Korea, Rwanda, Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania and Nigeria.

Candidates who showed interest in seats for this year’s were New Zealand, Spain, Turkey, Venezuela, Fiji, Malaysia, Angola. The only contest was between New Zealand, Spain and Turkey for two seats given to the Western European and others group. New Zealand won a seat during the first round of voting with 145 votes. A run-off vote saw Spain roundly defeat Turkey for the seat.

Venezuela last tried to join the 15-member council in 2006, but failed to win the required two-thirds support of the General Assembly during dozens of rounds of voting after the United States successfully campaigned against its bid. Washington did not stand in the way of Venezuela’s bid this time. Ten countries abstained in the secret General Assembly ballot to elect Venezuela.

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