In accordance with the Security Council's rotation rules, whereby the ten non-permanent UNSC seats rotate among the various regional blocs into which UN member states traditionally divide themselves for voting and representation purposes, the five available seats were allocated as follows:
The five members (elected by a two-thirds majority of the General Assembly, in as many rounds of voting as it takes to achieve that majority) served on the Security Council for the 2008–09 period.
Seven countries had announced themselves as candidates for the five non-permanent seats on the Security Council for the 2008–2009 term. Vietnam was running for the Asian seat, which if successful, would be the first time serving in the council. Burkina Faso (last served in 1985) and Libya (last served in 1977) were running for the two African seats. All three countries had received endorsements from their regional groupings. In addition, Costa Rica (last served in 1998) and the Dominican Republic (one of the few UN Charter members which had never served up to 2007) were competing for the one Latin American seat at stake. The Czech Republic (last served in 1995) and Croatia (never served) were competing for the Eastern European seat.
Having been endorsed by their respective regional groups, Vietnam, Burkina Faso, and Libya were elected easily, winning 178, 185, and 183, votes, respectively, of a total of 190 possible; 190 ballot papers were distributed in the General Assembly, while there were 192 UN member states in 2007. Mauritania got two votes and Senegal got one, despite not having stood for election; there were no abstentions.