Oz, Rwanda, S Korea win seats at UNSC

Oz, Rwanda, S Korea win seats at UNSC

Australia, Rwanda and South Korea are among the five nations that were elected as the new non-permanent members of the powerful UN Security Council, replacing India, Colombia, Germany, Portugal and South Africa.

The other two new members of the 15-nation Council are Argentina and Luxembourg.

The five members will begin their two-year terms on January 1, 2013.

The countries each had to get 129 votes or two-thirds of the 193-nation General Assembly to be elected. Rwanda got 148, while Australia took 140 and Argentina 182. South Korea beat Cambodia and Bhutan to secure the one Asia-Pacific seat. It received 149 votes in the second round of voting. Luxembourg won over Finland by winning 131 votes in the "Western European and Others" group.

The other five non-permanent members at the Council are Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo. Their terms will end in December 2013. The five permanent members - China, France, Russia, UK, US - have veto-wielding power.

India had secured a seat to the Council for a two-year term after winning overwhelmingly in elections held in October 2010. It had returned to the Council after a gap of 19 years.

It held the rotating Presidency of the Council in August last year and will again serve as President in November before its term ends on December 31.