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Encyclopedia > UN Security Council
A session of the Security Council in progress
A session of the Security Council in progress

The United Nations Security Council is the most powerful organ of the United Nations. It is charged with maintaining peace and security between nations. While other organs of the UN only make recommendations to member governments, the Security Council has the power to make decisions which member governments must carry out under the United Nations Charter. The decisions of the Council are known as UN Security Council Resolutions. Picture of the UN Security Council Chamber from UN site This work is copyrighted. ... Picture of the UN Security Council Chamber from UN site This work is copyrighted. ... The United Nations, or UN, is an international organization established in 1945 and now made up of 191 states. ... The United Nations Charter is the constitution of the United Nations. ... A United Nations Security Council Resolution is voted on by the fifteen members of the UN Security Council. ...

Contents


History

The Security Council held its first session on January 17, 1946, at Church House, London. January 17 is the 17th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1946 was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... Church House is the building that serves as the headquarters of the Church of England, occupying the south end of Deans Yard next to Westminster Abbey in London. ... St. ...


Members

A representative of each Security Council member must always be present at UN headquarters so that the Council can meet at any time. This requirement of the United Nations Charter was adopted to address a weakness of the League of Nations since that organization was often unable to respond quickly to crises. The presidency of the security council is rotated and lasts for one month. The League of Nations was an international organization founded after the First World War at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. ...


The role involves setting the agenda, presiding at its meetings and overseeing any crises. It alternates in alphabetical order of the members' names in English.


There are two categories of membership in the UN Security Council: permanent members and elected members.


Permanent members

The Council has five permanent members.

The permanent members were originally drawn from the victorious powers after World War II: the Republic of China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1971, the People's Republic of China replaced the Republic of China as the 'China' representative in the UN. In 1991, Russia became the successor to the seat originally held by the Soviet Union, including the seat in the Security Council. World War II was a truly global conflict with many facets: immense human suffering, fierce indoctrinations, and the use of new, extremely devastating weapons like the atom bomb. ... National motto: None Official language Mandarin Chinese Capital and largest city Taipei President Chen Shui-bian Premier Frank Hsieh Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 138th 35,980 km² 2. ... 1971 is a common year starting on Friday (click for link to calendar). ... Chinas seat in the United Nations has been occupied by the Peoples Republic of China since November 23, 1971. ... 1991 is a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Russias membership in the United Nations after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, was the succession of the Soviet Unions seat, including its permanent membership on the UN Security Council. ...


Currently the five members are the only nations permitted to possess nuclear weapons under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which lacks universal validity, as not all nuclear nations have signed the treaty. This nuclear status though, is not the result of their Security Council membership. Moreover North Korea, India, Pakistan, Israel (allegedly; Israel has never admitted to nuclear weapons posession), and some other countries that are not permanent members of the UN Security Council do possess nuclear weapons outside of the anti-proliferation framework established by the Treaty. The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 km (11 mi) above the epicenter. ... Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Opened for signature July 1, 1968 at New York Entered into force March 5, 1970 Conditions for entry into force Ratification by the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, the United States, and 40 other signatory states. ...


Each also have veto powers to void any resolution, a single blocking vote that outweighs any majority. The veto power is a power wielded solely by the 5 permanent members of the UN security council. ...


Elected members

Ten other members are elected by the General Assembly for 2-year terms starting on January 1, with five replaced each year. The members are chosen by regional groups and confirmed by the United Nations General Assembly. The African, Latin American, and Western European blocs choose two members each, and the Arab, Asian, and Eastern European blocs choose one member each. The final seat alternates between Asian and African selections. The term general assembly can refer to The largest unit of organisation in the polity of a (national) Presbyterian church, containing several synods or presbyteries. ... January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations. ... Bloc may stand for: The Eastern Bloc Countries: a former group of countries in Europe Bloc Québécois: a political party in Canada Bloc (or Block) voting: a form of elections Trade bloc This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same...


The current (2005–2006) elected members are:

  1. Algeria
  2. Argentina
  3. Benin
  4. Brazil
  5. Denmark
  6. Greece
  7. Japan
  8. Philippines
  9. Romania
  10. Tanzania

See Elected members of the UN Security Council for other years. Since 1965, the UN Security Council has included 10 elected (non-permanent) members. ...


Membership reform

There has been discussion of an increase in the number of permanent members. The countries who have made the strongest demands for permanent seats are Japan, India and Germany. Indeed, Japan and Germany are the UN's second and third largest funders, respectively, while India and Germany are among the largest contributors of troops to UN-mandated peace-keeping missions.


UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has asked a team of advisors to come up with recommendations for revamping the United Nations by the end of 2004. A proposed solution is to increase the number of permanent members by six, which, in most proposals, would include Japan, Germany, India, Brazil (G4 nations) and two seats from Africa (most likely between Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt). On September 21, 2004, these four countries issued a joint statement mutually backing each other's claim to permanent status, together with an African country. France and the United Kingdom declared that they support this claim. Currently the proposal has to be accepted by 2 thirds of the UN General Assembly which translates to 128 votes. Order: 7th Secretary-General Term of office: January 1, 1997–present Predecessor: Boutros Boutros-Ghali Successor: incumbent Born: April 8, 1938 Place of birth: Kumasi, Ghana Kofi Atta Annan (born April 8, 1938) is a Ghanian diplomat and the seventh and current Secretary-General of the United Nations. ... The G4 is a newly formed alliance between India, Germany, Japan and Brazil for the purpose of supporting each other’s bid for permanent seats in the UN. Unlike similar alliances such as the G7 or G8, where the common denominator was the economy or long term political motives, the... Africa is the worlds second-largest continent and 3rd most populous. ... September 21 is the 264th day of the year (265th in leap years). ... 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


See Reform of the United Nations: Security Council reform for additional information. In recent years there have been many calls for reform of the United Nations. ...


India

Nuclear power India represents approximately a sixth of the world's population and is the world's largest democracy. It is also the world's fourth largest economy in terms of Purchasing Power Parity. Its bid is unequivocally backed by France, the United Kingdom, and Russia. In economics, purchasing power parity (PPP) is a method used to calculate an alternative exchange rate between the currencies of two countries. ...


Though initially opposed by the People's Republic of China due to geo-political reasons (China being an ally of India's arch-rival Pakistan and also having fought a brief war with India in 1962), recent history has turned China's official stand on supporting India from negative to neutral to positive. On April 11, 2005 the official stand from China was that it would support India's candidature for a permanent seat. Although the US officially does not back India's bid -- on account of various reasons, some of which remain decidedly unclear -- it has privately been eager to work with India and to support the nation (which translates to not using a veto). Taking into account its huge population and growing economic and political clout, India is a strong contender to clinch a permanent seat. Another factor which bolsters India's candidature is the fact that it was one of the founding members of the UNSC and has participated in several of UNSC's activities, including UN operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cyprus, Cambodia, Yemen, Somalia, Rwanda and Namibia, among others. Presently, India is ranked as the second-largest troop contributor to the UN. 2005 is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar and is the current year. ... US,Us or us may stand for the United States of America us, the oblique case form of the English language pronoun we. ... The word veto comes from Latin and literally means I forbid. ... UNSC may refer to: United Nations Science Committee United Nations Security Council United Nations Staff College United Nations Space Command (Halo) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


Germany

France has explicitly called for a permanent seat in the UN for Germany: "Germany's engagement, its ranking as a great power, its international influence—France would like to see them recognized with a permanent seat on the Security Council", French president Chirac said in a speech in Berlin in 2000. The German Chancellor also identified Russia, among other countries, as a country that backed Germany's bid. Italy and Netherlands on the contrary suggest a common EU seat in the Council instead of Germany becoming the third European member next to France and the UK. The German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said Germany would also accept a common European seat, but as long as there is little sign that France and the UK will give up their own seats, Germany, a much larger country, should also have a seat. Thus, the German campaign for a permanent seat has been intensified in 2004. Chancellor Gerhard Schröder made himself perfectly clear in August, 2004: "Germany has the right to a seat". However, on June 8, 2005, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice refused to endorse the German bid, noting, "The only country that we have said unequivocally that we support is Japan, having to do with Japan's special role in the U.N. and support for the U.N." In the context of international relations and diplomacy, power (sometimes clarified as international power, national power, or state power) is the ability of one state to influence or control other states. ... Joschka Fischer Joseph Martin Joschka Fischer (born April 12, 1948 near Crailsheim) has been the German foreign minister and deputy chancellor in the red-green coalition since 1998. ... 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. ... Condoleezza Condi Rice (born November 14, 1954), has been the second United States Secretary of State in the administration of President George W. Bush since January 27, 2005. ...


Japan

Japan, the second largest contributor to the U.N. regular budgets. Its payment even surpasses the sum of those of the United Kingdom, France, the People's Republic of China and Russia. Japan has been one of the largest ODA donor countries. Thus Japan is considered the most likely candidate for one of the new permanent seats.


Japan's eagerness to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council meets with strong opposition from East Asian countries, especially the People's Republic of China, South Korea and North Korea. There are frequent large anti-Japanese protests in both mainland China and South Korea. Although they associate their movements with Japan's past, others speculate that these countries, especially the PRC, are motivated by more current problems such as territorial disputes. In late April 2005, large anti-Japan protests broke out in mainland China. The reasons for the protests are varied, but include tensions between Japan and China over the future of the Security Council. While the protests were not officially sanctioned by the PRC, some analysts suggested that the PRC government allowed the protests to proceed in order to upset Japan's bid to be added to the Security Council. However, the PRC government then forbade further protests when it became concerned that such protests might become more about domestic issues. East Asia is a subregion of Asia. ...


Many other Asian nations have expressed strong support for Japan's application. Japan's backers in the region include Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam. Other countries such as Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States also back Japan's bid.


The Islamic member - a point of controversy

Since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of the state of Israel, the predominantly Islamic Middle East has been an area of persistent international conflict, and the periodic flare-ups in the region have been the subject of many UN security council debates and resolutions. However, the prospect of introducing a permanent Islamic member to the security council is highly sensitive, especially if such a member were to be granted the power of veto.


Outside the Muslim world, many commentators have raised concerns that an empowered Islamic member could wield its veto to restrict the UN's ability to act forcefully in the Middle East or on the boundaries of the Islamic world (e.g. Kashmir and Chechnya), rendering the UN impotent in those regions. The lack of democracy in Middle Eastern states that are predominantly Muslim is another factor cited by some Western commentators who argue against the idea of including these countries in the club of permanent, veto-wielding states.


At the same time, the draft G-4 reform proposals may leave over 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide without any permanent representation on the UN security council. This is a highly controversial issue within the Islamic world and would adversely impact the UN's credibility in the hotspots of the Middle East and South West Asia. In June 2005 the foreign ministers of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) called for a Muslim permanent seat on the UN Security Council.


Recent resistance to the reform draft proposals emanating from the G-4 states can be attributed in part to this highly sensitive issue. The US and several Western states have objected to any proposal that gives new members any veto powers, and within the African Union, Egypt has led resistance to a proposal by Nigeria to adopt a version of the G-4 proposals that removes the right of veto for new members, and may enable the creation of a reformed council that does not have any permanent members with a predominantly Muslim identity.


Role of members and non-members

Decisions in the 15-member Security Council on all substantive matters—for example, a decision calling for direct measures related to the settlement of a dispute—require the affirmative votes of nine members. A negative vote—a veto—by a permanent member prevents adoption of a proposal, even if it has received the required number of affirmative votes. Abstention is not regarded as a veto. Since the Security Council's inception, China (ROC/PRC) has used 5 vetoes; France, 18; Russia/USSR, 122; the United Kingdom, 32; and the United States, 79. The majority of the USSR vetoes were in the first ten years of the Council's existence, and the numbers since 1984 have been: China, 2; France, 3; Russia, 4; the United Kingdom, 10; and the United States, 42. The word veto comes from Latin and literally means I forbid. ...


A state that is a member of the UN, but not of the Security Council, may participate in Security Council discussions in which the Council agrees that the country's interests are particularly affected. In recent years, the Council has interpreted this loosely, enabling many countries to take part in its discussions. Non-members routinely are invited to take part when they are parties to disputes being considered by the Council.


Role of the Security Council

Under Chapter Six of the Charter, "Pacific Settlement of Disputes", the Security Council "may investigate any dispute, or any situation which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute." The Council may "recommend appropriate procedures or methods of adjustment" if it determines that the situation might endanger international peace and security. These recommendations are not binding on UN members. The United Nations Charter is the constitution of the United Nations. ...


Under Chapter Seven, the Council has broader power to decide what measures are to be taken in situations involving "threats to the peace, breaches of the peace, or acts of aggression." In such situations, the Council is not limited to recommendations but may take action, including the use of armed force "to maintain or restore international peace and security." This was the basis for UN armed action in Korea in 1950 during the Korean War and the use of coalition forces in Iraq and Kuwait in 1991. Decisions taken under Chapter Seven, such as economic sanctions, are binding on UN members. For other places called Korea, see: Korea (disambiguation) Korea (한국/韓國, 조선/朝鮮) is a formerly unified country, situated on the Korean Peninsula in northern East Asia, bordering on China to the northwest and Russia to the north. ... 1950 was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... The Korean War (Korean: 한국전쟁/韓國戰爭), from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953, was a conflict between North Korea and South Korea. ... 1991 is a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Sanction is an interesting word, in that, depending on context, it can have diametrically opposing meanings. ...


The UN's role in international collective security is defined by the UN Charter, which gives the Security Council the power to:

  • Investigate any situation threatening international peace;
  • Recommend procedures for peaceful resolution of a dispute;
  • Call upon other member nations to completely or partially interrupt economic relations as well as sea, air, postal, and radio communications, or to sever diplomatic relations; and
  • Enforce its decisions militarily, if necessary.

The United Nations has helped prevent many outbreaks of international violence from growing into wider conflicts. It has opened the way to negotiated settlements through its service as a center of debate and negotiation, as well as through UN-sponsored fact-finding missions, mediators, and truce observers. UN peacekeeping forces, comprised of troops and equipment supplied by member nations, have usually been able to limit or prevent conflict. Some conflicts, however, have proven to be beyond the capacity of the UN to influence. Key to the success of UN peacekeeping efforts is the willingness of the parties to a conflict to come to terms peacefully through a viable political process. Peacekeeping is a way to help countries torn by conflict create conditions for sustainable peace. ...


Resolutions

The legally binding nature of Security Council Resolutions has been the subject of some controversy. It is generally agreed that resolutions are legally binding if they are made under Chapter VII (Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression) of the Charter. The Council is also empowered to make resolutions under Chapter VI (Pacific Settlement of Disputes); most authorities do not consider these to be legally binding. The International Court of Justice suggested in the Namibia case that resolutions other than those made under Chapter VI can also be binding, a view that some Member States have questioned. It is beyond doubt however that those resolutions made outside these two Chapters dealing with the internal governance of the organization (such as the admission of new Member States) are legally binding, where the Charter gives the Security Council power to make them. A United Nations Security Council Resolution is voted on by the fifteen members of the UN Security Council. ... The International Court of Justice (known colloquially as the World Court or ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. ...


See also

A United Nations Security Council Resolution is voted on by the fifteen members of the UN Security Council. ... In recent years there have been many calls for reform of the United Nations. ... The United Nations, or UN, is an international organization established in 1945 and now made up of 191 states. ... A map of UN member states. ... While the United Nations is an International organization, the United Nations System is the whole network of international organizations, treaties and conventions that were created by the United Nations. ... United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations. ... The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations assists the General Assembly in promoting international economic and social cooperation and development. ... The United Nations Trusteeship Council, one of the principal organs of the United Nations, was established to help ensure that non-self-governing territories were administered in the best interests of the inhabitants and of international peace and security. ... The United Nations Secretariat is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and it is headed by the United Nations Secretary General, assisted by a staff of international civil servants worldwide. ... The International Court of Justice (known colloquially as the World Court or ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. ...

External links

  • United Nations Security Council
  • Veto patterns of the Security Council


The United Nations UN Flag

UN System
General Assembly | Security Council | Economic and Social Council |
Trusteeship Council | Secretariat | International Court of Justice The United Nations, or UN, is an international organization established in 1945 and now made up of 191 states. ... Subject: Flag of the United Nations Source: United Nations web site [1] Notes: According to this web site the background colour is Pantone 279C. This is 6689CC in 8 bit Hex RGB code. ... While the United Nations is an International organization, the United Nations System is the whole network of international organizations, treaties and conventions that were created by the United Nations. ... United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations. ... A session of the Security Council in progress The United Nations Security Council is the most powerful organ of the United Nations. ... The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations assists the General Assembly in promoting international economic and social cooperation and development. ... The United Nations Trusteeship Council, one of the principal organs of the United Nations, was established to help ensure that non-self-governing territories were administered in the best interests of the inhabitants and of international peace and security. ... The United Nations Secretariat is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and it is headed by the United Nations Secretary General, assisted by a staff of international civil servants worldwide. ... The International Court of Justice (known colloquially as the World Court or ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. ...


United Nations Resolutions
General Assembly Resolutions | Security Council Resolutions A United Nations resolution (or UN resolution) is a decision of a United Nations (UN) bodies. ... ... A United Nations Security Council Resolution is voted on by the fifteen members of the UN Security Council. ...

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  Results from FactBites:
 
Kids.net.au - Encyclopedia UN Security Council - (886 words)
The UN Security Council is the most powerful organ of the United Nations.
The Security Council held its first session on January 17, 1946 and the decisions of the Council are known as UN Security Council Resolutions.
UN peacekeeping forces, comprised of troops and equipment supplied by member nations, have usually been able to limit or prevent conflict.
United Nations Security Council - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2377 words)
The decisions of the Council are known as UN Security Council Resolutions.
This nuclear status is not the result of their Security Council membership, though it is sometimes used as a modern-day justification for their continued presence on the body.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has asked a team of advisors to come up with recommendations for revamping the United Nations by the end of 2004.
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