By Lawani Mikairu, with agency report
Nigeriaâ€™s prominence in international politics was yesterday reinforced when she was elected, along four others, as non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council for 2010-2011.
The four other counties are Brazil, Gabon, Lebanon and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Africa was allotted two seats that went to Nigeria andGabon.
Nigeria was elected with 186 votes, along with Gabon, which received 184 votes.
The Security Council is the most important UN decision-making body, with its five permanent members being Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.
Each of the five permanent members has veto power over its decisions. It is tasked with maintaining international peace and security.
The newly electedÂ five non-permanent members will take their seats on the 15-member council on January 1, replacing Costa Rica, Libya, Uganda, Vietnam and Croatia who will complete their two-year mandate on December 31.
In the Latin America and Caribbean group, Brazil â€” which already has served nine terms on the council, most recently from 2004-2005, was the only candidate. Brazil was elected with 182 of the 190 votes cast, with seven abstentions, Ali Triki, the president of the 192-member General Assembly, said.
Nigeria, Africaâ€™s oil giant and the continentâ€™s most populous nation previously served three terms, most recently in 1994-1995, while Gabon has never served.
One seat was at stake in the Asia group, which Lebanon won with 180 votes.
In the Eastern Europe group, Bosnia, which has never served, was elected to the seat that will be left vacant by Croatia with 183 votes. Citing his countryâ€™s painful war experience from 1992 to 1995, Bosnian Foreign Minister Sven Alkalaj said, â€œwe are going to be a strong voice for preventive diplomacy.â€
He highlighted the fact that Bosnia was endorsed by the full 23-member Eastern Europe group.
â€œAlthough we will act in our national capacity, we are going to be a part of a broader consensus that is growing in our neighborhood, where all the countries share the same desire of peaceful and prosperous life,â€ Alkalaj said.
The Security Councilâ€™s 10 non-permanent seats are filled by the General Assembly, with five countries elected each year to two-year non-renewable mandates. To secure a seat, a candidate nation has to win two-thirds of votes cast in a secret ballot.