South Africa loses seat on UN Security Council
Uganda has replaced South Africa on the influential United Nations Security Council. The council is regarded as the powerhouse of the UN and has the authority to impose sanctions and deploy peacekeepers.
There are five permanent seats out of 15 on the Security Council. America, Britain, France, Russia and China all hold the permanent seats and are the only countries with a veto vote. Elections for the non permanent seats are held every two years.
The General Assembly elected Austria, Japan, Mexico, Turkey and Uganda to serve as non-permanent members of the Security Council for two-year terms starting on 1 January 2009. The newly elected countries will replace Belgium, Indonesia, Italy, Panama and South Africa. Uganda stood unopposed to replace South Africa. Ten non-permanent members, elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms are not eligible for immediate re-election
Iran and Iceland lost out on their attempts to gain a seat when they were defeated by Japan and Turkey respectively. Australia even gained one vote despite the fact that they were not even standing for election! It is believed that a country became confused between Austria and Australia when voting.