United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies
Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas

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Contact Details

URL: https://www.un.org/securitycouncil/

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1945-10-24 New York NY USA


Established by the Charter of the United Nations -- Charte des Nations Unies. Officially constituted, 12 Jan 1946. A principal organ of A-XA3375 - United Nations (UN) within F-XF1000 - United Nations System, on which Member States have conferred primary responsibility for maintaining peace and security. In performing its functions, the Security Council acts on behalf of the Member States, all of whom have agreed to accept and carry out its decisions in accordance with the Charter.


Maintain international peace and security; develop friendly relations among nations; cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights; be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.


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Comprises 15 members (in accordance with an amendment to the Charter, in force since 31 Aug 1965, the Security Council was enlarged from 11 to 15 members), each entitled to one vote, including: 5 permanent members; 10 elected by the General Assembly for 2-year terms, ineligible for immediate re-election, the 10 non-permanent seats are distributed on a regional basis as follows: 5 for African and Asian States; one for Eastern European States; 2 for the Latin American and Caribbean States; and 2 for Western European and other States. Presidency is held monthly in turn by Member States, in English alphabetical order.

A decision on any matter other than a question of procedure is by an affirmative vote of 9 members, including concurring votes of permanent members, in accordance with the rule of 'Great Power Unanimity', popularly known as the 'veto' privilege. In practice, an abstention by one of the permanent members is not regarded as a veto. Any member, whether permanent or non-permanent, must abstain from voting in any decision in a dispute to which it is a party. On questions of procedure, a decision is by an affirmative vote of any nine members. Because the maintenance of peace requires constant vigilance and may call for prompt action, the Security Council is so organized as to be able to function continuously. Meetings are held periodically, and, should it so decide, the Council may hold its meetings at places other than headquarters.

Secretariat. Standing Committees and Working Groups are comprised of the 15 members of the Council.


Standing Committees and Ad hoc Bodies, including:

International Courts and Tribunals:

Security Council Affairs Division (SCAD), part of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), provides substantive and secretariat support to Security Council. Includes:

Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

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Type I Classification

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

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UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions



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* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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