"New Zealand's term on the Security Council will place us at the heart of international decision-making for the next two years," the minister said.

"It's been 21 years since New Zealand last served on the Security Council. We are ready to serve again and to provide an independent voice at the world's top table," he added.

The Security Council is at present faced with some of the most pressing issues concerning the international community, including the humanitarian situation in Syria.

New Zealand's term on the Council runs until December 31, 2016.The UNSC comprises five permanent members with veto power and 10 non-permanent members, elected by the General Assembly for a two-year term each. It has primary responsibility to maintain international peace and security.

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