UN Security Council gets new members, and 1 gets presidency

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations Security Council has five new members, and one of them — the Dominican Republic — is starting out as the group’s president.

Belgium, Germany, Indonesia and South Africa also are starting their two-year terms. All five new members are being recognized with a ceremony Wednesday marking the installation of their flags outside the council chamber.

Bolivia, Ethiopia, the Netherlands, Kazakhstan and Sweden finished their terms as 2018 closed.

The 15-member council is the U.N.’s most powerful body. China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States are permanent members, with veto power.

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Other members are elected by the 193-member General Assembly for staggered, two-year terms that are allocated by global regions. Seats are sought-after, and countries often campaign for years.

The presidency rotates each month.

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