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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

In Egypt, Ban calls on Arab leaders to strengthen bonds for region's people, global security

28 March 2015 With a raft of ills plaguing the Arab world – from the “shameful” conflict in Syria to the “tinderbox” that is Gaza and the steadily unraveling situation in Yemen – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called upon leaders gathered in Egypt to work with each other and the United Nations to “strengthen our bonds for the people of this region and the security of our world.”

UN strongly condemns deadly terrorist attack on Mogadishu hotel

28 March 2015 The top United Nations official in Somalia along with the members of the UN Security Council have strongly condemned yesterday's terrorist attack on a hotel in Mogadishu city that resulted in the death of many civilians, including the Somali Federal Government's Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva, Ambassador Yusuf Bari-Bari.

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