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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: Security Council condemns massacres of civilians, attacks on peacekeepers

26 November 2014 The United Nations Security Council has condemned in the strongest terms the massacres perpetrated against civilians on 20 November near the city of Beni in North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as well as the ongoing attacks targeting peacekeepers.

‘Profoundly concerned’ over violence in Libya, Security Council warns of possible sanctions

26 November 2014 The Security Council today expressed its “profound concern” over the deteriorating situation in Libya and its impact on regional peace and stability, warning of the possibility of sanctions.

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