The Security Council has 15 members, of which five countries are permanent and ten are non-permanent. According to the UN Charter, the five permanent members are China, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and France. The five newly elected countries replace Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan and Togo, while the five other non-permanent members (Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, Rwanda and the Republic of Korea) continue their tenures.
The election was held by secret ballot, and the candidate countries needed two-thirds majority of those Member States present and voting to get elected. After only one round the results were as follows:
Lithuania: 187 votes
Chile: 186 votes
Nigeria: 186 votes
Chad: 184 votes
Saudi Arabia: 176 votes
According to the UN Charter the Security Council has the “primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security”. The members of the Council have one vote each, and decisions on procedural matters are made by an affirmative vote of at least nine of the 15 members, including the concurring votes of all five permanent members which is often referred to as the “veto” power. Under the UN Charter, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.
Read more about the Security Council.
Watch photos from the election (Flickr).