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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

Adopting resolution, Security Council condemns violence against journalists, urges end to impunity

27 May 2015 Deeply concerned by the frequency of acts of violence in many parts of the world against media professionals in armed conflict, the United Nations Security Council today adopted a resolution condemning all violations and abuses committed against journalists and strongly deploring impunity for such acts.

Serbia and Kosovo must not squander chance to overcome challenges, Security Council told

26 May 2015 As Serbia and Kosovo aim to overcome the legacy of conflict, the two countries must avoid procrastination on implementing the remaining steps of the April 2013 Accord and allowing older issues to shackle opportunities to open new ground, the United Nations Security Council was told today.

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