United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

  • The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations.
  • The Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of International peace and security.
  • It is also charged with accepting new members to the United Nations and approving any changes to its United Nations Charter.
  • UNSC is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.
    • Other organs of the UN can only make recommendations to member states.

The powers of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

  • The establishment of peacekeeping operations,
  • The establishment of international sanctions, and
  • The authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions.

Members and Voting of the UNSC

  • The council has 15 members:
    • 5 Permanent – US, UK, Russia, France and China and
    • 10 members elected by the General Assembly for 2-year terms.
  • All the members have one vote and permanent members have veto power.
  • Decisions on procedural matters should have vote of at least 9 of the 15 members
  • Decisions on substantive matters require nine votes and the absence of negative vote by any of the 5 permanent members.
  • The presidency of the Security Council rotates alphabetically each month.

Permanent seats in the UNSC

  • G4 Nations – 4 countries (Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan) bid for permanent seats in UNSC.
  • Uniting for Consensus (Coffee Club)
    • These are group of countries who are opposing the expansion of permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council under the leadership of Italy.
    • Other Members in Coffee Club – Spain, Malto, San Marino , Pakistan , South Korea, Canada , Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Turkey.


  • Like the UN as a whole, the Security Council was created following World War II to address the failings of another international organization, the League of Nations, in maintaining world peace.
  • In its early decades, the body was largely paralyzed by the Cold War division between the US and USSR and their respective allies.
  • It authorized interventions in the Korean War and the Congo Crisis and peacekeeping missions in the Suez Crisis, Cyprus, and West New Guinea.
  • With the collapse of the Soviet Union, UN peacekeeping efforts increased dramatically in scale, and the Security Council authorized major military and peacekeeping missions in Kuwait, Namibia, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • The Security Council held its first session on 17 January 1946.

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United Nations

The United Nations is the world’s largest international organization founded in 1945 after World War II.

Its charter was signed in San Francisco on June 26, 1945, and came into existence on October 24, 1945, after 51 countries has signed the charter.

Its predecessor, the League of Nations, created by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 was disbanded in 1946.


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