Geneva, Oct. 19 (Xinhua-ANI): The UN General Assembly on Thursday elected the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Luxembourg to a two-year term in the UN Security Council.
The two joined Argentina, Australia and Rwanda, which were elected earlier, to serve as new non-permanent members of the powerful UN body.
The new members will begin their term on Jan. 1, 2013, replacing Colombia, Germany, India, Portugal and South Africa, whose term ends on Dec. 31 this year.
The ROK and Luxembourg won their Council seats after two rounds of secret ballot, garnering 149 and 131 votes from the 193 UN member states respectively, according to Vuk Jeremic, the president of the 67th session of the UN General Assembly who presided over the voting.
Rwanda won 148 votes, Argentina 182 and Australia 140 in the first round to get elected.
Under the UN Charter, the 15-member Security Council has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
To be elected to the Council, a country must win support from two thirds of the General Assembly members, or 129 votes.
In the Thursday election, Argentina and Rwanda had no competitors from their respective regions for the Council seats assigned on a geographic basis.
As the first round of ballot only produced three winners to fill the five available Council seats, the General Assembly subsequently kicked off a second round to pick one country each from the Asia-Pacific group and the group of Western European countries and others.
The ROK, Cambodia and Bhutan competed in the second round for the seat assigned to their group. Cambodia eventually got 43 votes.
Australia beat out Finland and Luxembourg in the first round to seize the first of the two seats available for the group of Western European countries and others. And Finland only grabbed 62 votes in the second round.
According to the UN Charter, the non-permanent members of the Security Council are elected by the General Assembly. The regional groups for two-year stretches, with five elected in October each year, fill 10 of the 15 Council seats.
The remaining five seats belong to the veto-wielding permanent members, namely Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States. (Xinhua-ANI)