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A UN Security Council vote
Image: Getty Images/AFP/D. Emmert

Germany elected to UN Security Council

June 8, 2018

The United Nations has voted to give Germany a two-year seat on the Security Council. Belgium, South Africa, the Dominican Republic and Indonesia will take up the remaining non-permanent places.


Germany: Non-permanent member

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. Israel was initially also in the running, but withdrew its bid last month.

Germany received 184 votes from the 190 cast ballots. 

Germany's diplomatic mission to the UN posted a video of its representative celebrating its election to the Security Council. 

In a tweet, the German Foreign Office in Berlin said: "We are looking forward to this huge task and responsibility. Many thanks to all those who placed their trust in us. Now let's get to work!"

Shortly before setting off to New York to attend the vote, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters in Berlin: "Especially in the current situation, we need a strong and empowered United Nations."

Germany and Belgium will be joined by South Africa, the Dominican Republic and Indonesia as the new faces on the Security Council for 2019 and 2020. 

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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