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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

UN Security Council authorizes operations to disrupt migrant smuggling of coast of Libya

09 October 2015 Acting to help “save the threatened lives of migrants or of victims of human trafficking” and to disrupt criminal enterprises operating on the high-seas off the coast of Libya, the United Nations Security Council today authorized for one year operations by the European Union (EU) and individual countries to inspect and or seize vessels of suspected of people smuggling in the Mediterranean.

Haiti taking ‘resolute’ steps towards renewal of democracy and stability – UN envoy

08 October 2015 With the holding its first round of elections 9 August this year, to renew the executive legislative and local leadership of the country, Haiti is taking “resolute” steps in renewing its democratic institutions, the top United Nations official for the country told the Security Council today.

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