Gabon and Ghana join powerful UN Security Council

Gabon and Ghana are two of the latest countries to sign up to the United Nations Security Council.

The two nations joined alongside Israel, United Arab Emirates, Brazil and Albania, as the five countries took up the places won from an election in June 2021.

The 15-member council is the UN’s most powerful body. China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States are also permanent members. Other members are elected by the 193-member General Assembly for two-year terms that are allocated by global regions.

Gabon and Ghana each have been on the council three times previously, and take up places as several nations stood down after finishing their elected terms. The African continent non-permanent seats on the Security Council, were previously held by Kenya, Tunisia and Niger.

South African and Senegalese presidents have previously spoken out and called for a permanent representation of the African people in the council. More than 50 of the U.N.’s 193 member countries have never been elected to the council since it formed in 1946.

Council members discuss topical and urgent issues but can also convene meetings on security topics of particular interest to them, and smaller countries get to share a prominent platform with world powers.

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