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The East African country can now join India, Ireland, Mexico, and Norway which all won their bids in first-round voting Wednesday.
Kenya got elected Thursday to a non-permanent U.N. Security Council (UNSC) seat, narrowly defeating Djibouti. The first-round vote held the previous day had seen both countries failing to attain the needed two-thirds majority of 128 votes in the General Assembly.
Kenya received 129 votes against Djibouti's 62 for the 15-nation council's Africa seat. Djibouti's foreign minister congratulated Kenya after the vote.
The East African country can now join India, Ireland, Mexico, and Norway, which all won their bids in first-round voting Wednesday.
To ensure geographical representation, seats are allocated to regional groups. But even if candidates are running unopposed in their group, they still need to win the support of more than two-thirds of the U.N. General Assembly.
The new members will start their two-year term on the 15-member council on Jan. 1, which is made up of five veto-wielding permanent members: the United States, Russia, France, China, and the United Kingdom; and other five non-permanent members: Niger, Tunisia, Vietnam, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Estonia whose end of term year is 2021.
The powerful Security Council is the only U.N. body that can make legally binding decisions like imposing sanctions and authorizing the use of force. This election comes as regional conflicts continue to heat up, such as Israel looming illegal annexation of the Palestinian West Bank and Jordan Valley; Venezuela's unilateral sanctions; the South China Sea tension, among others.
The diplomats from the U.N. also elected - unopposed - Turkish diplomat Volkan Bozkir as the president of the 75th session of the U.N. General Assembly, who will take up the role later this year.