UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan of Ghana (UN/DPI/M. Grant)
Until 1955, only nine countries were admitted, though a much larger number
applied. The General Assembly can admit a new member only if the Security Council
recommends the admission. The Security Council cannot recommend a nation for
membership unless the five permanent members of the council agree. Until 1955
the permanent members failed to agree on a large number of applicants. Since
then, most applications for membership have been accepted. Because of this,
the number of member nations has increased greatly.
Author, The United Nations
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