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  • Uruguay

    Uruguay's Ambassador to the U.N. Jose Luis Cancela spoke to the U.N. Security Council in New York Oct. 13, 2015. | Photo: Uruguayan Foreign Ministry

Uruguay replaces Chile as the non-permanent representative of Latin American and the Caribbean on the Council.

Uruguay kicked off its two year-long term as a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council on Friday against a global backdrop of tense security situations and ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.

The South American country was elected by the U.N. General Assembly in October along with Egypt, Japan, Senegal, and Ukraine to serve on the Security Council until the end of 2017.

The new non-permanent members join the the five permanent members on the council — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States — as well the non-permanent members that will remain on the council until the end of 2016, which are Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain, and Venezuela.

Uruguay takes the place of Chile, a non-permanent member from 2014-2015, as the representative of the Latin American and Caribbean region.

The U.N. Security Council is responsible for addressing and mitigating threats to international peace and security.

The council’s 10 non-permanent members are elected on a rotation basis as representatives of their geographic region, and each country has one vote.

Only the five permanent members have veto power within the council.

U.N. Security Council meetings are called whenever there is a perceived threat to address.

In recent months, security questions discussed by the Security Council have included the path to peace in Syria and eradicating the so-called Islamic State group, among other issues.

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