South Africa has secured a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the first time.
South Africa's ambassador to the UN is congratulated after the vote
Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said her country was "greatly privileged and honoured".
Monday saw South Africa receive the necessary votes to win a two-year seat on the Security Council along with Indonesia, Italy and Belgium.
Ms Dlamini-Zuma said the nation would "serve the peoples of Africa, the south and the world in this capacity".
She said it would "work with all members of the Security Council, and regional organisations in pursuit of peace and stability in all regions of the world, especially in the Middle East".
The foreign minister also said South Africa would pursue UN reform, including the expansion of the security council.
The five permanent members of the UN's top body - the US, France, Britain, China and Russia - have the power of veto, the 10 rotating members do not.
The non-permanent seats are filled from regional groupings for two-year stretches. Five are replaced every year.