Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, UAE elected to U.N. Security Council

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The Security Council chamber is seen from behind the council president's chair at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, September 18, 2015 REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

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NEW YORK, June 11 (Reuters) - The U.N. General Assembly elected Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, and the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations Security Council on Friday for a two-year term starting on Jan. 1, 2022.

All five countries ran unopposed for a spot on the 15-member body, which is charged with maintaining international peace and security. They will replace Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam.

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.

Ghana received 185 votes, Gabon 183 votes, UAE 179 votes, Albania 175 votes and Brazil 181 votes.

The Security Council is the only U.N. body that can make legally binding decisions like imposing sanctions and authorizing use of force. It has five permanent veto-wielding members - the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia.

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Reporting by Michelle Nichols Editing by Alistair Bell

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