UNITED NATIONS – The United Nations Security Council has six new members: Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Peru and Poland.
Their flags were installed outside the council chambers Tuesday in a ceremony arranged by Kazakhstan's ambassador, Kairat Umarov. His country currently holds the council presidency.
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.
Other members are elected by the 193-member General Assembly for two-year terms. But this year, the Netherlands is filling out the second half of a term it shared with Italy.
Egypt, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay also finished their terms last year.
Winning a Security Council seat gives countries a strong voice in matters dealing with international peace and security.