Vietnam on Friday was elected to replace outgoing Kuwait to serve on the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member for the Asia-Pacific seat beginning next year and stressed the importance of pursuing its policies of peace and non-proliferation after suffering in the aftermath of war. “As Vietnam went through decades of war, we hope that we can bring to the council the experience of Vietnam, the country that has been able to rebuild the country after the war and deal with many other issues after the war,” Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung told reporters after the election was held in the General Assembly hall. The Security Council is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Hanoi was endorsed by 192 out of 193 member states in a secret ballot. Leading up to the elections, Vietnam campaigned on key issues such as promoting preventive diplomacy, which put the Southeast nation on the map when it hosted the second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. It also stressed the importance of multilateralism, promoting sustainable development, tackling climate change and promoting human rights, among other issues. “We have good relations with both the US and the DPRK,” he said in response to a question about how Hanoi can play a positive role. He was referring to the isolated country’s official name – the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – and emphasised how his nation normalised ties with Washington decades after the war ended in 1975 and also had experience with economic reforms. “We hope we can share with our partners in the council and those that might be interested in working together with Vietnam to promote peace and also to deal with the issues on the peninsula in the legitimate interests of all parties involved and also in the interest of the region and the international community,” he added. Vietnam war: 44 years on, birth defects from America’s Agent Orange are increasing The country joins Indonesia, which began its two-year term this January after being elected in 2018 to represent the region. Having only become a UN member in 1977, Vietnam last served on the council from 2008-2009. As a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, its council term coincides with taking up the chairmanship of the regional organisation which also begins in 2020. It has also contributed 73 personnel to two UN peacekeeping missions, with most being stationed in South Sudan, where Japanese Ground Self-Defence Forces once had a contingent. Niger and Tunisia were both endorsed by 191 member states and will replace Ivory Coast and Equatorial Guinea from the African group. From the Latin America and the Caribbean group, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines gained 185 votes. The southern Caribbean nation will serve for the first time in its history since becoming a member of the international body in 1980 after gaining independence from Britain the previous year. It will take over from Peru. Estonia and Romania were the only two countries that vied for seats for one Eastern European slot. After two rounds Tallinn received 132 votes to replace Poland, whose term ends this year. Estonia’s Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu told reporters of his country’s priority to work with efforts to reform the Security Council. “We are very much a friend of Security Council reform,” he said, emphasising how dialogue and multilateral solutions are needed to break through decades of a stalemate on the issue to restructure the powerful 15-member council. Japan is among four countries, along with Germany, Brazil and India, aspiring to one day become a new permanent member. “We would like to see that every regional group should have basically a permanent membership in the Security Council,” he said. “We would like to see also Germany and Japan becoming permanent members of the Security Council.” Besides Indonesia, the other four non-permanent members whose terms end next year are Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Germany and South Africa. The permanent members of the council are Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.