Malaysia and four others win non-permanent seats in UN Security Council

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - Malaysia has won a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), together with Angola, Venezuela, New Zealand and Spain.

The 193-nation UN General Assembly voted to fill five non-permanent seats at the Security Council, the UN's top body with authority to decide on sanctions and the use of force.

Malaysia garnered 187 votes, Venezuela 181 votes and Angola won 190 votes. All three countries ran unopposed as their candidacies had been put forward by their region.

New Zealand, which picked up 145 votes, ran against Spain and Turkey for two seats.

A new round of balloting was set to decide on the winner after Spain picked up 121 votes and Turkey 109.

The five new members will begin their two-year term at the council in January.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak described Malaysia's win as "extremely meaningful" and said he believed the international community reacted positively to Malaysia's policies, its responsible approach to issues and principle-based measures, according to The Star newspaper.

"They know we absolutely reject extremism which I made very clear in my speech at the United Nations last month," he told reporters in Milan on Friday.