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United Nations Security Council

The Security Council

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

Attacks on hospitals and medical staff ‘symptoms of grave disregard’ for international law – UN chief

25 May 2017 Parties to conflict are treating hospitals and clinics as targets, rather than respecting them as sanctuaries, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned today during a Security Council debate on the protection of civilians in armed violence.

Top UN official in South Sudan urges Security Council to advance ‘common strategy’ on political process

24 May 2017 The head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan today urged the Security Council to unite behind a common strategy for advancing the political process and peace in the crisis-torn country.

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