Egypt, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay Join U.N. Security Council

UN Security Council
A UN Security Council meeting at the United Nations in New York, September 30. Egypt, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay will join as non-permanent members from January. Reuters/Andrew Kelly

The UN General Assembly has elected Egypt, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay to serve as non-permanent members on the Security Council, starting in January 2016.

The countries will remain on the Security Council until the end of 2017 and will join the other non-permanent members whose term ends at the end of 2016: Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Venezuela.

The group also joins the UN Security Council's permanent members: China, France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S., which continue to hold veto power in votes.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin was quick to comment on Ukraine's accession into the Security Council, where its representative will be faced with the Russian delegation at council votes. Klimkin accepted the mandate but warned that Kiev's attitude to working with Russia "will not exactly be a conciliatory one."

"Our election to the Security Council is particularly important for us at the backdrop of Russian aggression," Klimkin said. "For the first time we have an absolutely unique situation on our hands which would have been unimaginable in the past, in that a permanent Security Council member is an aggressor, waging a hybrid war against Ukraine."

Ukraine has been elected as a non-permanent member of the Security Council three times before, most recently in 2001. However relations between it and Moscow have never been so strained as Ukraine continues to accuse Russia of backing separatist rebels in the east and of forcefully annexing Crimea from its territory last year.

Russia denies any illegal involvement in the crisis and has instead accused Ukraine's current government of coming to power as a result of a covert Western effort to remove pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in early 2014.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said his country will work "to resolve the very many issues" facing the UN today. The country will be joining the Security Council for the sixth time in its history.

Meanwhile Japan, which has served 11 terms as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, highlighted the dangers posed by the rogue state in its backyard: North Korea.

Japan's ambassador to the UN, Motohide Yoshikawa, said Japan would push for Security Council reform and expansion and expressed his hope that the UN will "be seized" by the state of human rights in North Korea and "at the appropriate moment" decide on how to pursue the "betterment of the human rights issue," AFP reports.

Egypt, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay Join U.N. Security Council | World