Five new nations join UN Security Council

World Today

Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain, and Venezuela just won highly-coveted seats at the United Nations Security Council. CCTV America’s Liling Tan reports on the details of the new members.

Five new nations join UN Security Council

Five new nations join UN Security Council

Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain, and Venezuela just won highly-coveted seats at the United Nations Security Council. CCTV America's Liling Tan reports on the details of the new members.

It was a suspenseful start to the highly-anticipated election of the five open two-year seats in the United Nation’s smallest but most powerful unit. Members of the General Assembly gave two-thirds of majority votes to Angola, Malaysia and the controversial candidate, Venezuela. These three countries ran unopposed in their geographical regions.

Venezuela had come under criticism over its record on human rights and its close ties with the governments of Syria and Iran. The U.S. opposed Venezuela’s previous bid to join the council in 2006, but did not stand in the way this time.

A two-thirds majority vote also came for New Zealand to fill one of the two highly-contested slots for western European and ‘others’ group.

With one seat left to fill, Spain faced off against Turkey in three rounds of voting, before Spain emerged with 132 votes to beat Turkey’s 60.

A possible downside of what the five new members will bring to this roundtable is a weaker human rights focus than their outgoing predecessors, according to the nonprofit Human Rights Watch. Permanent members, China and Russia, could gain an ally in Venezuela, while Malaysia is expected to bring a moderate Muslim perspective to a council.