Goodbye Egypt, hello Kuwait: UN Security Council gets six new members
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Goodbye Egypt, hello Kuwait: UN Security Council gets six new members

Among countries to join body are Equatorial Guinea and Poland, both of which abstained on a General Assembly vote condemning US Jerusalem recognition

Illustrative: A general view of the UN Security Council room during a meeting over the situation in the Middle East on December 18, 2017, at UN Headquarters in New York. (AFP Photo/Kena Betancur)
Illustrative: A general view of the UN Security Council room during a meeting over the situation in the Middle East on December 18, 2017, at UN Headquarters in New York. (AFP Photo/Kena Betancur)

Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and the Netherlands formally joined the ranks of the non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday “to make a difference,” the body’s president said.

“Peace and security are difficult to achieve,” Kazakh envoy Kairat Umarov, who took the rotating presidency in January, told council members at a special ceremony. “You are going to have a real chance to make a difference.”

Last month, Equatorial Guinea and Poland were among the countries that didn’t vote in favor a General Assembly resolution condemning US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Peru and the Netherlands also voted for the measure, which was backed by 128 states.

List of how countries voted in the December 21, 2017 UN resolution rejecting US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (Courtesy)

One after the other on Tuesday, ambassadors representing the council’s six new member countries — five men and a woman, Polish envoy Joanna Wronecka — placed their flag among those of the body’s nine other members.

The UN Security Council has 15 members, including five with permanent seats who have the power to veto resolutions — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

Three women and 12 men are among the 15 ambassadors who will soon be seated at the U-shaped table in the center of the Security Council’s chamber.

In addition to Wronecka and US envoy Nikki Haley, Karen Pierce will take her seat later this month as Britain’s new ambassador.

The six countries who left the UN Security Council on December 31 are Egypt, Italy, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay.

All six voted for an Egyptian-backed resolution last month condemning the US recognition, which was vetoed by the US.

Unlike in the General Assembly, Security Council resolutions are binding.

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