Five new countries joined the UN Security Council (UNSC) as non-permanent members starting from the new year, while Jordan assumed Thursday the rotating presidency of the Council for January.
Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania and Nigeria have begun their two-year term, replacing Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo.
Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zedi Al-Hussein, the permanent representative of Jordan to the UN, took over the rotating council presidency from Gerard Araud, the French UN ambassador who held the council presidency for the month of December in 2013.
The security council presidency rotates among council members in the English alphabetical order of their names. Each president holds office for one calendar month.
The UN General Assembly Dec 6 elected Jordan, which had served twice on the Security Council since becoming a UN member in 1955, to take the Security Council seat rejected by Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia refused to take up the seat, saying the 15-member Security Council have “double standards” and failed to act on crisis in the Middle East.
Chad and Lithuania have never served on the most powerful UN body while Nigeria and Chile have both been on the council four times.
According to the UN Charter, the 10 non-permanent members of the security council are elected by the General Assembly, with five elected in October each year.
The remaining five seats belong to the veto-wielding permanent members, namely Britain, China, France, Russia and the US.