In accordance with the General Assembly's rules for the geographic distribution of the non-permanent members of the Security Council, and established practice, the members were to be elected as follows: two from Africa, one from Asia, one from Latin American and the Caribbean Group (GRULAC), and one from the Eastern European Group. By unofficial custom, the seat from Asia was to be filled by a member of the Arab League, as the previous holder of the "Arab seat" was African Egypt.
There was a total of six candidates for the five seats. The only seat contested was that of the Eastern European Group: The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia competed for the one available seat. The other groups all had a number of candidates equal to the number of seats to fill: Gabon and Gambia for the two African seats, Bahrain for the one Asian seat, and Brazil for the one GRULAC seat.
With Macedonia losing to Slovenia, and all the other candidates securing their respective majority supports of 2/3, the final result was as follows: Bahrain, Brazil, Gabon, Gambia, and Slovenia were elected to serve two-year terms at the United Nations Security Council commencing 1 January 1998.