5 members elected to U.N. Security Council

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UNITED NATIONS | Bosnia and Lebanon will join the U.N. Security Council in January, even though both countries are cited in council resolutions calling for disarmament and political negotiations.

Gabon, Brazil and Nigeria will also serve two-year terms in the council, beginning Jan. 1.

“It is going to be an even stronger Security Council, I think, next year,” said British Ambassador John Sawers.

“We have two large countries in Brazil and Nigeria who carry the weight of being a regional power. We have two countries in Lebanon and Bosnia who have been through conflict and can bring their own national experiences to the Security Council,” Mr. Sawers said.

The five nations - all were running unopposed - were easily elected on the first ballot by the 192-member General Assembly.

Five of the council’s 10 elected seats turn over every year. The 15-member council includes five veto-wielding permanent members - the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia.

Elected members, which lack veto power, are nominated by region.

Gabon and Nigeria will succeed Burkina Faso and Libya for the African seats; Croatia will pass the Eastern European seat to Bosnia; Brazil succeeds Costa Rica for the Latin American and Caribbean countries; and Lebanon is taking the Asia seat from Vietnam.

Lebanon will also succeed Libya as the unofficial “Arab seat,” under a deal worked out years ago between predominantly Arab countries in North Africa and the Middle East.

The other five elected members - Austria, Japan, Uganda, Turkey and Mexico - will step down in 2011.

In January, Brazil will take its place at the horseshoe-shaped Security Council table. The country is leading an effort to expand the council to as many as 23 seats.

Brazil, which will host the 2016 Summer Olympics, is influential in the Group of 20 industrial and developing nations, rapidly raising its international profile.

Lebanon hosts one of the most dangerous U.N. peacekeeping missions on its boundary with Israel, an area dominated by the militant Shi’ite Islamist group Hezbollah.

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