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Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council

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Functions and Powers of the Security Council

The functions and powers of the Security Council are covered in Articles 24-26 of the Charter of the United Nations and are featured in the Repertoire. Under each section, the Repertoire provides a list of implicit references and explicit references to these Articles found in official documents of the Security Council. The Repertoire also includes case studies that examine specific instances where these Articles were discussed or which otherwise illustrate the way that the Security Council has applied these Articles in its decision making.

A. Article 24 -  Responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security

Article 24 (1) gives the Security Council the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It is often referred to during discussions concerning the appropriateness for the Council to include a situation or a thematic item on its agenda. Discussions with respect to the competencies and the scope of the mandate of the Security Council as compared to those of other principal organs of the United Nations, including the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), are also featured in this section. For Article 24 (3) concerning annual and special reports of the Security Council, see also Relations with the General Assembly.

B. Article 25 - Agreement to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council

Under Article 25, Member States agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council. This section includes a number of case studies where the question of the binding nature of Council decisions and the obligation of Member States to implement them has been discussed.  Discussions on possible differences in the binding nature of decisions adopted under Chapter VI and Chapter VII of the Charter are also featured here.

C. Article 26 – Regulation of armaments

Article 26 gives the Security Council the responsibility of formulating plans for the establishment of a system for the regulation of armaments to be submitted to Member States, with the assistance of the Military Staff Committee. This section has only appeared infrequently in the Repertoire.


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