In a step that could lead to the first increase in the membership of the United Nations since 2002, the Security Council today considered an application by the Republic of Montenegro, which recently voted for independence from Serbia, to join the world body. The Council referred the matter to its Committee on the Admission of New Members, which held closed-door talks this afternoon, a UN spokesman reported.Montenegro’s request for admission came in a letter to Secretary-General Kofi Annan from its President, Filip Vujanovic, and followed an independence referendum held in the country on 21 May.If admitted, Montenegro would become the UN’s 192nd Member State. It would also be the latest country to break away from what was originally the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.Following that country’s dissolution during the Balkans wars of the 1990s, its component parts were admitted in succession. First, on 22 May 1992, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia joined the UN. Approximately one year later, on 8 April 1993, the General Assembly decided to admit as a Member of the UN “the State being provisionally referred to for all purposes within the United Nations as ‘The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’ pending settlement of the difference that had arisen over its name.”The “rump” Federal Republic of Yugoslavia gained membership in 2000, and in 2003 officially changed its name to Serbia and Montenegro.The Security Council’s recommendation on Montenegro’s application will be forwarded to the General Assembly for action.The latest country to gain membership in the UN was Timor-Leste, which became the 191st UN Member State on 27 September 2002.