For the first time Estonia and the Caribbean island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines were elected to the U.N. Security Council.
Niger, Tunisia and Vietnam also won two-year terms, and the five countries will take their new spots next year on the 15-member council. Tunisia has served on the council three times, most recently in 2000-2001. Niger had a term in the 1980s, and Vietnam in 2008-2009.
The council has five permanent members with veto power: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Other members are elected by the assembly’s 193 states for staggered, two-year terms. Five are chosen each year.
Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Peru and Poland are finishing their terms this year. Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia and South Africa will remain on the council through the end of 2020.
The coveted seats are allocated by global regions. Countries often plan for years to campaign for a spot, which can raise a nation’s profile in international affairs and afford it a strong voice on the world’s most pressing peace and security issues.