United Nations Security Council
Preserving the Leading Role of Nation States in International Politics in the Era of Multinational Corporations
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, charged with the maintenance of international peace and security as well as accepting new members to the United Nations and approving any changes to its United Nations Charter. 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. The Security Council held its first session on 17 January 1946.
Like the UN as a whole, the Security Council was created following World War II to address the maintaining world peace. In its early decades, the body was largely paralyzed by the Cold War though 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 has authorized major military and peacekeeping missions in a large number of conflict zones.
The Security Council consists of fifteen members. The victors of World War II- the Soviet Union (now represented by the Russian Federation), the United Kingdom, France, Republic of China (now represented by the People's Republic of China), and the United States- serve as the body's five permanent members. These permanent members can veto any substantive Security Council resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or candidates for Secretary-General. The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms. The presidency rotates monthly among its members.
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