Malta's bid for a non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council in 2023 has won the support of some European countries, Foreign Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela said on Wednesday.

Dr Abela said a number of European states had written to Malta expressing their support for the bid. 

The two-year mandate would see Malta join nine other non-permanent members at the UN's hghest table, provided it wins elections scheduled for 2022.

Malta had served for a two-year term on the Security Council in 1983 after a first attempt in 1977 fell short at the last voting stage. 

Switzerland is the only country within the Western European group of countries to have expressed an interest in bidding for a seat so far. 

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had acknowledged Malta intended to bid for the seat back in November 2013, but little has been said of the bid since then.

Who sits on the UN Security Council?

The United Nations security council is made up of five permanent members - the USA, UK, France, Russia and China - and 10 elected, non-permanent members which each serve two-year terms. 

Non-permanent seats are divided among the UN's five regional groupings, to ensure geographic proportionality, and terms overlap to ensure five members change from one year to the next. Western Europe has two non-permanent seats.

Although non-permanent members can table resolutions, take part in security briefings and chair Security Council meetings, the five permanent members wield a veto which can be used to stop any resolution in its tracks. 

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