Gabon – Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, and the United Arab Emirates joined the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, formally taking up positions won in a June election. Gabon, Ghana, and the UAE have each served on the council three times.
The 15-member council is the most powerful body in the United Nations. Permanent members with veto power are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Other members are elected for two-year terms by the 193-member General Assembly, which is divided into worldwide regions. Kenya, Tunisia, and Niger held the African continent’s non-permanent Security Council seats. Last year, the presidents of South Africa and Senegal advocated for permanent African participation in the council.
Smaller countries get to share a prominent platform with big powers, and council members can organize sessions on security subjects of particular concern to them. Since 1946, more than 50 of the United Nations’ 193 member countries have never been elected to the Security Council.