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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

Security Council demands immediate end to hostilities in Mali, urges parties to abide by ceasefire

01 May 2015 The United Nations Security Council today expressed its deep concern at the outbreak of violence that has occurred in Mali this past week, which “threatens to undermine the peace process, and demanded that the hostilities cease immediately.”

UN event addresses gender equality and safety of journalists ahead of World Press Freedom Day

01 May 2015 The United Nations today commemorated World Press Freedom Day 2015 with a moment of silence for journalists killed in the line of duty, and drew attention to the need for greater gender equality in the media and the safety of journalists in the digital age, where protection from surveillance will become increasingly important.

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