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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

Central African Republic: Security Council condemns attacks that killed peacekeeper

03 August 2015 The members of the Security Council condemned today in the strongest terms the attacks against a convoy of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), which were perpetrated on Sunday in Bangui and resulted in the death of one peacekeeper.

Senior UN officials condemn West Bank arson attack that killed Palestinian child

31 July 2015 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN special envoy on the Middle East have strongly condemned today's arson attack in the West Bank that killed a Palestinian child and left the child's parents severely injured.

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