- Algeria, Benin, Brazil, the Philippines and Romania were elected yesterday evening to become the next five non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. Cameroon and Guinea are leaving their seats.
The quintet will take up their seats on 1 January, replacing Bulgaria, Cameroon, Guinea, Mexico and Syria, which step down as scheduled at the end of their two-year terms. The new group will serve on the Council until the end of 2005.
The five new members were elected according to a pre-arranged geographical distribution, which allocated three seats to African and Asian countries, one seat to an Eastern European nation and one seat to a Latin American or Caribbean state.
The new composition of the UN Security Council will be seen slightly more pro-US than the outgoing, given that the Philippines are replacing Syrian and that Benin is replacing Cameroon. Further, Algeria's presence in the Council is a drawback for Morocco, regarding the Western Sahara conflict.
The terms of the other five non-permanent members - Angola, Chile, Germany, Pakistan and Spain - are due to run out on 31 December 2004, when five new members will replace them. China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States are the Council’s five permanent members.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.