- 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 and each member has one vote.
- 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. 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.
India’s non-permanent member seat
- Last year, India’s candidature for a non-permanent seat at the UNSC for a two-year term (starting from 2021) was unanimously endorsed by the 55-member Asia-Pacific grouping at the United Nations.
- Thus, India is guaranteed a place in the UNSC as it is the sole candidate for Asia-Pacific, but needs two-thirds of the 193-member General Assembly to vote in its favour in a secret ballot scheduled for June 17 in New York.
- India has already held a non-permanent seat on the UNSC for seven terms.
Why in News?
- External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar recently said that India will highlight international terrorism, United Nations reforms and Security Council expansion, streamlining the world body’s peacekeeping operations and technology initiatives during its upcoming tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC in 2021-22.
- He added that India’s overall objective during this tenure in the UN Security Council will be the achievement of N.O.R.M.S: a New Orientation for a Reformed Multilateral System.
- The government launched its plan for the UNSC seat as far back as 2013 with a keen eye on 2021, the year that will mark its 75th year of Independence.