India, which received a record 187 votes to bag a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, has described its victory as a "ringing endorsement" by member states of the world body.
"This is the highest vote that any country has got in the last five years," Indian envoy to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri told PTI.
Puri termed the outcome as a "ringing endorsement" of India by UN members and said, "Now that's saying a lot."
Out of the 191 countries, India received support of 187. While one member state abstained from the vote, three votes were polled against India.
After the vote in the General Assembly on Tuesday, the diplomats of the Indian mission to the UN celebrated by opening a couple of bottles of champagne and serving a lunch of spicy Chinese food.
India, a founding member of the UN, is returning to the Security Council after a gap of 19 years. It has been on the Council six times before -- having last served in 1992.
Other countries which have been elected are South Africa, Colombia, Germany and Portugal.
Canada, which was also contending, received the least number of votes and eventually withdrew after the second round of voting. The five new countries will be replacing Austria, Japan, Mexico, Turkey and Uganda.
Three of the new members are part of the G4 (India, Brazil, Japan and Germany), which want to become permanent members.
After the vote, India made it clear that it would be pushing for change in the next two years as it serves out it term as a non-permanent member.
"Not only are we entering the Council but we're entering the Council when inter-governmental text-based negotiations are underway and those text-based negotiations are expected to progress for a final outcome in the next 12 months," Puri said.
The Indian envoy asserted that countries like Brazil and South Africa "are expected to utilise their tenure as non-permanent members in order to facilitate longer-term permanent membership for themselves while serving this term."
While India, South Africa, and Colombia were not challenged by any other country from their region, the two seats of the Western European and Others Group were contested among Portugal, Germany and Canada.
The terms of the elected countries start from January 1.