The United Nations has elected the Philippines, Algeria, Brazil, Romania, and Benin to two-year terms on the Security Council.

It was a routine election. The results had been worked out in advance. But in formal session, the General Assembly held its annual vote to fill five of the 10 rotating Security Council seats.

General Assembly President Julian Hunte of St. Lucia announced the results.

"Having obtained the required two-thirds majority, the following states are elected members of the Security Council beginning the first of January 2004: Algeria, Benin, Brazil, the Philippines, and Romania."

The election is held according to a pre-arranged geographical distribution. Three of the seats changing this year were for African and Asia countries, one seat for an Eastern European nation, and one seat to a Latin American or Caribbean state.

According to this formula, Algeria, Benin, and the Philippines are taking up the seats currently held by Cameroon, Guinea, and Syria. Romania takes the seat now occupied by Bulgaria. Brazil is replacing Mexico in the Latin American/Caribbean seat.

The other five non-permanent members, Angola, Chile, Germany, Pakistan and Spain, will serve for another year. Denmark and Greece have been selected to replace Germany and Spain in the Western European seats a year from now. Japan is considered certain to replace Pakistan in the Asian seat.

The five permanent veto-wielding Council members are the United States, France, Britain, China, and Russia.