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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

Lebanon: as security challenges grow, top UN official in country urges end to political vacuum

25 May 2015 The vacuum in the post of Lebanon's presidency has undermined the country's ability to address a range of growing security, economic and social challenges, the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Sigrid Kaag, warned today.

Somalia: UN official condemns killing of parliamentarian, reiterates support for political process

24 May 2015 The top United Nations official in Somalia has condemned a deadly attack against two Somali Members of Parliament (MP) and reiterated the Organization's support for the country's democratic process.

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