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United Nations Security Council

The Security Council

In Brief...

  • 15 members: five permanent members with veto power and ten non-permanent members, elected by the General Assembly for a two-year term.
  • Meetings are called at any given time when the need arises.
  • Rotating presidency: Members take turn at holding the presidency of the Security Council for one month.

Under the Charter, the Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 Members, and each Member has one vote. Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.

The Security Council takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression. It calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of settlement. In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.

The Security Council also recommends to the General Assembly the appointment of the Secretary-General and the admission of new Members to the United Nations. And, together with the General Assembly, it elects the judges of the International Court of Justice.

Latest News

Security Council voices outrage at latest attacks against civilians, UN in South Sudan

18 April 2014 – The Security Council on Friday voiced its outrage at the recent attacks by armed groups in South Sudan that have purposefully targeted civilians as well as the United Nations peacekeeping mission sites and personnel.

Ban returns to airwaves in Central African Republic to call for end to fighting

17 April 2014 – On the heels of his recent visit to the Central African Republic (CAR), where the deadly rift between Christians and Muslims continues to widen, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today in a radio message appealed to all Central Africans to build a unified country through peace.

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