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Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Chad, Lithuania, Chile elected to U.N. Security Council

- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 17, 2013

Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Chad, Lithuania and Chile all won coveted seats on the U.N. Security Council Thursday, after there were no contested races for the first time in several years.

Lithuania was the top vote-getter with 187 votes followed by Nigeria and Chile with 186 votes, Chad with 184 votes and Saudi Arabia with 176 votes, the Associated Press reported. The five will assume their posts on Jan. 1 and serve through the end of 2015, replacing Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo.

The U.N. Security Council currently has five permanent, veto-wielding members — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States — and 10 nonpermanent members elected for two-year terms.

Security Council seats are highly coveted because they give states a prominent voice on international security matters in places like Syria, Iran and North Korea, the report said.

Philippe Bolopion, United Nations director for Human Rights Watch, denounced the election of Chad, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.

"The prestige of a seat at the world's foremost diplomatic table should prompt the new members to get their house in order," he said, according to the AP.

"Chad should put an end to the recruitment of child soldiers, which earned it a spot on the U.N. list of shame. Saudi Arabia should end its crackdown on human rights activists and grant women their full rights," Mr. Bolopion said, adding that Nigeria should also "end chronic abuse by security forces and better protect civilians in the north."

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