- The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) was established in 1946 as one of the six principal organs of the UN. It is generally viewed as the apex of the UN system.
- It is responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security.
- Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions.
- It is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.
- UNSC consists of 15 Members.
- The council has five permanent members (P-5) United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom and France.
- These permanent members can veto any substantive Security Council resolutions, including those on the admission of new member states.
- The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis as follows:
- five for African and Asian States;
- one for Eastern European States;
- two for the Latin American and Caribbean States; and
- two for Western European and other States.
- Each year the 193-member UN General Assembly (UNGA) elects five non-permanent members for a two-year term.
- The body’s presidency rotates monthly among its members.
Vote and Majority Required
- Each member of the Security Council shall have one vote.
- Decisions of the Security Council on procedural matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members.
- Decisions of the Security Council on all other matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members.
- However, any member, whether permanent or nonpermanent, must abstain from voting in any decision concerning the peaceful settlement of a dispute to which it is a party.
Why in News?
- The UN Security Council has expressed deep concern over the maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine and backed efforts by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to find a peaceful solution, issuing a unanimous statement on the conflict for the first time since the February 24 invasion by Russia.
- The recent statement does not use the terms “war” or “conflict” for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, only recalling “that all member-states have undertaken, under the Charter of the United Nations, the obligation to settle their international disputes by peaceful means”.