UN Security Council welcomes new members; 2 are first-timers

Jan 3, 2023, 3:14 AM | Updated: 5:21 pm
CORRECTS NAME TO PEDRO COMISSARIO - Mozambique's United Nations Ambassador Pedro Comissário Afonso...

CORRECTS NAME TO PEDRO COMISSARIO - Mozambique's United Nations Ambassador Pedro Comissário Afonso, left, installs his country's flag during ceremony for five newly-elected non-permanent members to serve on the United Nations Security Council for the term 2023-2024, Tuesday Jan. 3, 2023 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

              CORRECTS NAME PEDRO COMISSARIO - Mozambique's United Nations Ambassador Pedro Comissário Afonso speaks during a ceremony for five newly-elected non-permanent members, including Mozambique, to serve on the United Nations Security Council for the term 2023-2024, Tuesday Jan. 3, 2023 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
            
              CORRECTS NAME TO PEDRO COMISSARIO - Mozambique's United Nations Ambassador Pedro Comissário Afonso, left, installs his country's flag during ceremony for five newly-elected non-permanent members to serve on the United Nations Security Council for the term 2023-2024, Tuesday Jan. 3, 2023 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
            A United Nations police officer salutes as Ecuador's United Nations Ambassador Hernán Pérez Loose, right, installs his country's flag during a ceremony for five newly-elected non-permanent members to serve on the United Nations Security Council for the term 2023-2024, at U.N. headquarters on Tuesday. Jan. 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) Diplomatic intern Naji Osman, left, holds the Switzerland national flag, as Switzerland's United Nations Ambassador Pascale Baeriswyl, right, prepares for its installation during a ceremony for five newly-elected non-permanent members to serving on the United Nations Security Council for the term 2023-2024, Tuesday Jan. 3, 2023 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) Ecuador's United Nations Ambassador Hernán Pérez Loose speaks during a flag installation ceremony for five newly-elected non-permanent members, including Ecuador, to serve on the United Nations Security Council for the term 2023-2024, at U.N. headquarters on Tuesday. Jan. 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) Japan's United Nations Ambassador Ishikane Kimihiro speaks during a ceremony for five newly-elected non-permanent members, including Japan, to serve on the United Nations Security Council for the term 2023-2024, at U.N. headquarters on Tuesday. Jan. 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) A United Nations police officer salutes as Switzerland's United Nations Ambassador Pascale Baeriswyl, left, as she installs her country's flag during a ceremony for five newly-elected non-permanent members to serve on the United Nations Security Council for the term 2023-2024, Tuesday Jan. 3, 2023 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) Malta's United Nations Ambassador Vanessa Frazier speaks during a a flag installation ceremony for five newly-elected non-permanent members, including Malta, to serve on the United Nations Security Council for the term 2023-2024, Tuesday Jan. 3, 2023 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) Japan's United Nations Ambassador Ishikane Kimihiro speaks during a a flag installation ceremony for five newly-elected non-permanent members to serve on the United Nations Security Council for the term 2023-2024, at U.N. headquarters on Tuesday. Jan. 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews) An United Nations police officer salutes as Malta's United Nations Ambassador Vanessa Frazier, left, installs her country's flag during ceremony for five newly-elected non-permanent members to serve on the United Nations Security Council for the term 2023-2024, Tuesday Jan. 3, 2023 at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Ecuador, Japan, Malta, Mozambique and Switzerland got a formal welcome into the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday, taking the two-year seats they won unopposed in June.

In a tradition that Kazakhstan started in 2018, the five countries’ ambassadors installed their national flags Tuesday alongside those of other members outside the council chambers.

Mozambican Ambassador Pedro Comissário Afonso of Mozambique called it “a historic date” and Swiss Ambassador Pascale Baeriswyl said she felt “a deep sense of humility and responsibility” as their countries marked their first-ever terms on U.N.’s most powerful body. Malta joined for a second time, Ecuador a fourth and Japan a record 12th.

China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States are permanent, veto-wielding members of the group. Its 10 other members are elected by the 193-nation General Assembly for staggered, two-year terms. They’re allocated by global regions.

To many countries, winning a council seat is considered a signature diplomatic accomplishment that can raise a nation’s global profile and afford small countries a bigger voice than they might otherwise have in the major international peace and security issues of the day.

The council deploys peacekeeping missions, can approve sanctions and speaks out — sometimes — on conflicts and flashpoints, while also surveying such thematic issues as terrorism and arms control. While many matters are perennials on the agenda, council members also can use the platform to spotlight emerging concerns or topics of particular interest to them.

Countries often campaign for the council for years. Some 60 nations have never had a seat since the group’s formation in 1946.

The five latest members are replacing India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway. Their terms ended Dec. 31.

The other current two-year members are Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana and United Arab Emirates.

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UN Security Council welcomes new members; 2 are first-timers