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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

Amid growing attacks, Security Council urges greater protection for aid workers

29 August 2014 Against the backdrop of increasing threats to aid workers, the United Nations Security Council today adopted a resolution calling for accountability for attacks and urging all parties to conflict to allow unimpeded access for humanitarian actors.

Security Council condemns actions of Houthi militants to derail Yemen’s transition

29 August 2014 The Security Council today voiced grave concern about the recent deterioration of the security situation in Yemen, condemning the actions of the Houthis, including their escalating campaign to bring down the Government and undermine the country’s political transition.

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