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UN Lana Nusseibeh in New York, March 8, 2017 [EuropaNewswire/Gado/Getty Images]

The UAE along with four other countries – Albania, Brazil, Gabon and Ghana – have assumed responsibilities as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council. Although the two-year term commenced on 1 January, the first working day started after the New Year holidays.

The five countries were elected in June, replacing Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam. They will be joining the other non-permanent countries who are currently in the middle of their two-year terms: India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway.

Ahead of the UAE’s successful bid, it issued a statement promising to be a “constructive partner” in addressing some of the “critical challenges of our time”, such as promoting gender equality, combating terrorism and “harnessing the potential of innovation of peace”.

The first and last time the UAE held a seat at the Security Council was the 1986- 1987 term. Addressing the media yesterday at the flag-raising ceremony, the UAE’s Ambassador to the UN Lana Nusseibeh said the council membership was an “honour” for her country.

“The UAE’s conduct on the council will reflect who we are as a country and a people — open, inclusive and bound by the belief that we are stronger united,” said Nusseibeh.

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“We will seek a convergence of views and a unified council voice so that its decisions are met with the broadest possible support.”

“We will promote women’s empowerment and common responses to the global challenges … including climate-related security threats, security threats related to terrorism and, of course, pandemics,” she added.

The Security Council is a body consisting of 15 members, of which five are permanent with the power to veto: the US, United Kingdom, France, Russia and China. Five non-permanent members are replaced each year.

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