( UN ) - The General Assembly yesterday elected Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Croatia, Libya and Viet Nam to serve as non-permanent members of the Security Council for two-year terms starting 1 January 2008.
Burkina Faso, Libya and Viet Nam were chosen after one round of balloting this morning but Costa Rica and Croatia needed three rounds to achieve the necessary two-thirds majority of those present and voting for the seats, which are allocated along geographical lines.
The newly elected countries will replace Congo, Ghana, Peru, Qatar and Slovakia when their terms on the 15-member body expire at the end of this year.
The terms will mark the Council debut for both Viet Nam and Croatia, while it will be the second occasion for Burkina Faso (previously served in 1984-85) and Libya (1976-77) and the third stint for Costa Rica (1974-75 and 1997-98).
Announcing the results of the first round in the African and Asian category, where three seats were available this year, General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim said Burkina Faso had received 185 votes out of a possible 190, while Viet Nam picked up 183 and Libya received 178.
The three countries were the only declared candidates for the region. Mauritania picked up two votes, Senegal received one and there were no abstentions.
In the Eastern European category, where 124 votes were needed for victory in the third round of balloting, Croatia received 184 and Czech Republic - which withdrew its declared candidacy after two rounds - picked up one. There were four abstentions.
In the Latin American and Caribbean grouping, where 120 votes were needed to win in the third round, Costa Rica obtained 179 out of a possible 189 and the Dominican Republic - which had also just withdrawn its formal candidacy - received one. There were nine abstentions.
The members were elected according to an agreed geographic allocation, which awards three seats to African and Asian countries, one to Eastern European States, and one to the Latin American and Caribbean region during this year's round of elections.
Council elections are held by secret ballot in the General Assembly, and a winning candidate requires a two-thirds majority of ballots of members present and voting. Formal balloting takes place even in those regions where there is only one candidate per available seat.
The Council's five other non-permanent members, whose terms end on 31 December 2008, are Belgium, Indonesia, Italy, Panama and South Africa. The five permanent members are China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States.