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UN Security Council gets new members, and 1 gets presidency

Last Updated Jan 2, 2019 at 9:21 am PDT

FILE: The United Nations Security Council meets on North Korea, Monday, Sept. 4, 2017, at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

The Dominican Republic, one of five new members, is starting as the UN's new Security Council president

The United Nations Security Council has five new members, and one of them — the Dominican Republic — is starting out as the group’s president.

Belgium, Germany, Indonesia and South Africa also are starting their two-year terms. All five new members are being recognized with a ceremony Wednesday marking the installation of their flags outside the council chamber.

Bolivia, Ethiopia, the Netherlands, Kazakhstan and Sweden finished their terms as 2018 closed.

The 15-member council is the U.N.’s most powerful body. China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States are permanent members, with veto power.

Other members are elected by the 193-member General Assembly for staggered, two-year terms that are allocated by global regions. Seats are sought-after, and countries often campaign for years.

The presidency rotates each month