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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

Fresh peace deal ‘first step’ in resolving South Sudan crisis, says Security Council, urging all parties to adhere to ceasefire

28 August 2015 Welcoming the recent signature by President Salva Kiir, SPLM/SPLA-IO Chairman Riek Machar and others of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, the Security Council today called on all the parties, with the help of the United Nations, to implement the accord and adhere to the permanent ceasefire.

At Security Council, UN officials warn political turbulence in Guinea-Bissau puts past gainst at risk

28 August 2015 With Guinea-Bissau facing political turbulence barely a year after the re-establishment of constitutional order, the top United Nations official there expressed hope today that political leaders would rise to their “historic responsibility” to preserve the gains made so far in the interest of the country and people.

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