The Security Council

  • It is mainly responsible for ensuring peace in the world.
  • It is composed of 15 members of which 5 are permanent members and 10 are elected by the General Assembly.
  • The five permanent members are the USA, UK, Russia, China and France.
  • The 10 permanent members are elected by the General Assembly for two years and are not eligible for immediate re-election
  • Each member of the security council has one vote
  • VETO-The approval of all the permanent members is necessary on important matters. If any permanent member casts a “veto” to show its disagreement then no decision can be taken
  • The UN Charter gives the Security Council primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security.
  • The Council may convene at any time, whenever peace is threatened. Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to carry out the Council’s decisions.
  • There are 15 Council members. Five of these — China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States — are permanent members. The other 10 are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms.

Ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly (with end of term date):

  • Argentina (2014)

  • Azerbaijan (2013)

  • Australia (2014)

  • Guatemala (2013)

  • Luxembourg (2014)

  • Morocco (2013)

  • Pakistan (2013)

  • Republic of Korea (2014)

  • Rwanda (2014)

  • Togo (2013)

The Council can take measures to enforce its decisions. It can impose economic sanctions or order an arms embargo. On rare occasions, the Council has authorized Member States to use “all necessary means,” including collective military action, to see that its decisions are carried out.

The Council also makes recommendations to the General Assembly on the appointment of a new Secretary-General and on the admission of new Members to the UN.

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