The 2-page handout

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Somalia has been elected as one of the ten non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. A vote at the UN headquarters in New York on the 6th of June saw the African nation ushered in to take its seat in the UN body. It is the first time for Somalia to hold such a position since the 1970s. It descended into brutal and bloody conflict throughout the ensuing three decades. Civil and factional wars brought the war-torn country to its knees. A coalition government in 2009 has since brought the return of stability. Political experts believe that Somalia's recent turmoil, and its struggles to defeat Islamist insurgents, give it a valuable voice in promoting peace and security in the world.

The UN Security Council was formed in 1945 as a mechanism to maintain global peace. Its 15 members include five permanent members – China, France, Russia, the UK and the US – and 10 revolving non-permanent members. To win a seat, a nation must secure the support of at least two thirds of the UN General Assembly delegations. Somalia was elected unopposed and will serve for two years from January. It will sit alongside newly-elected Denmark, Greece, Pakistan and Panama. Somali Foreign Minister Ahmed Moallim Fiqi said: "Our tenure will be guided by our full commitment to multilateralism, and our respect of the principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter."



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