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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

DR Congo: Ban condemns attack on UN base, calls for perpetrators to be brought to justice

30 November 2015 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for swift action to bring to justice the perpetrators of a deadly attack yesterday against the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), pledging continued support in the battle against rebel forces.

UN strongly condemns attack on base in northern Mali that kills two 'blue helmets' and a civilian contractor

28 November 2015 The United Nations has strongly condemned a mortar attack on a UN camp in restive northern Mali earlier today, which left two peacekeepers and a civilian contractor dead, and 20 others injured, with the Security Council calling on the Malian Government to swiftly investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.

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