The Security Council, the United Nations’ principal crisis-management body, is empowered to impose binding obligations on the 193 UN member states to maintain peace. The council’s five permanent and ten elected members meet regularly to assess threats to international security, addressing issues that include civil wars, natural disasters, arms control, and terrorism. The council remains largely unchanged since its founding in 1946, stirring a perennial debate among members about the need for reforms. In recent years, members’ competing interests have often stymied the council’s ability to respond to major conflicts and crises, such as Syria’s civil war, Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and the coronavirus pandemic. The Security Council held its first session on 17 January 1946 at Church House, Westminster, and London. Since its first meeting, the Security Council has taken permanent residence at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. It also travelled to many cities, holding sessions in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1972, in Panama City, Panama, and in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1990. A representative of each of its members must be present at all times at UN Headquarters so that the Security Council can meet at any time as the need arises.

Structure of Security Council:

The Security Council shall consist of fifteen Members of the United Nations. The Republic of China, France, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America shall be permanent members of the Security Council. The General Assembly shall elect ten other Members of the United Nations to be non-permanent members of the Security Council, due regard being specially paid, in the first instance to the contribution of Members of the United Nations to the maintenance of international peace and security and to the other purposes of the Organization, and also to equitable geographical distribution. The non-permanent members of the Security Council shall be elected for a term of two years. In the first election of the non-permanent members after the increase of the membership of the Security Council from eleven to fifteen, two of the four additional members shall be chosen for a term of one year. A retiring member shall not be eligible for immediate re-election. Each member of the Security Council shall have one representative.

Functions and Powers of Security Council:

In order to ensure prompt and effective action by the United Nations, its Members confer on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and agree that in carrying out its duties under this responsibility the Security Council acts on their behalf. In discharging these duties the Security Council shall act in accordance with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations. The specific powers granted to the Security Council for the discharge of these duties are laid down in Chapters of the United Nations. The Security Council shall submit annual and, when necessary, special reports to the General Assembly for its consideration. The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter. In order to promote the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources, the Security Council shall be responsible for formulating, with the assistance of the Military Staff Committee referred to in Article 47, plans to be submitted to the Members of the United Nations for the establishment of a system for the regulation of armaments.


Security Council is one of organ of United Nation charter. The UN Charter gives the Security Council primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. The Council may convene at any time, whenever peace is threatened. In contrast to the decisions made by the General Assembly, all Member States are obligated under the UN Charter to carry out the Security Council’s decisions.


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