Germany, South Africa elected to UN Security Council

The UN General Assembly voted on Friday to elect Germany, Belgium, South Africa, the Dominican Republic and Indonesia for a two-year term in the Security Council starting from January 1, 2019.Germany was voted onto the United Nations Security Council for the sixth time on Friday, after it secured a two-thirds majority in the General Assembly.
The place was effectively guaranteed going into the vote: Germany and Belgium ran unopposed for the two spots in the Western European and Others category. Uncontested candidates still need to win more than two-thirds of the overall General Assembly vote to be elected. There were 190 ballots in Friday’s vote.
Germany received 184 votes, Belgium had 181, South Africa got 183, and the Dominican Republic had 184 after one round of voting.
Regional groups generally agree upon the candidates to put forward and competitive races are increasingly rare.
Sweden, the Netherlands, Ethiopia, Bolivia and Kazakhstan are set to leave the council at the end of this year after completing their two-year term.
The other five temporary seats not up for election this year are held by the Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Kuwait, Peru and Poland.
How is the Security Council set up?
The Security Council is made up of five permanent members with veto powers — the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France — and 10 temporary members elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms. Every year, five countries are elected by secret ballot.
A seat on the Security Council is viewed as the pinnacle of diplomatic achievement, as it gives countries a strong voice in matters concerning international peace and security. The council is also the only UN body with the power to impose sanctions and authorize the use of military force. 
Friday’s vote marks the sixth time that Germany has been elected to the Security Council since it became a UN member in 1973.
dm/kms (dpa, AP)

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