Peace and Security

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 of the United Nations, 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.


Key Information

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Resolution 2231 (2015)

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The use of mandatory sanctions is intended to apply pressure on a State or entity to comply with the objectives set by the Security Council without resorting to the use of force. Sanctions thus offer the Security Council an important instrument to enforce its decisions.

Link to Committees and Working Groups

All existing committees and working groups are comprised of the fifteen members of the Council. While standing committees are chaired by the President of the Council, rotating on a monthly basis, other committees and working groups are chaired or co-chaired by designated members of the Council who are announced on an annual basis by a Note of the President of the Security Council.

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The Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council provides comprehensive coverage of the Security Council’s interpretation and application of the United Nations Charter and its own Provisional Rules of Procedure. The material presented in the Repertoire is exclusively based on official documents of the Security Council.