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Group.png UN/SC   WebsiteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
UN Gaddafi.jpg
Parent organizationUN
LeaderPresident of the United Nations Security Council
Subgroups• United Nations/Security Council/Counter-Terrorism Committee
• United Nations/Security Council/Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate
SubpageUN/SC/Counter-Terrorism Committee
UN/SC/Resolution 2593
UN/SC/Resolution 435
UN/SC/Resolution 573
UN/SC/Resolutions Critical of Israel
Membership• China
• France
• Russia
• UK
In addition to the permanent members above (who have veto powers), there is a rotating membership of 10 more who don't.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security, accepting new members to the United Nations and approving any changes to the United Nations Charter. It has 5 permanent members (Russia, UK, France, China, USA) and 10 members rotate on an annual basis with all full members of the UN eligible to serve.

Powers of the UN Security Council include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the imposition of international sanctions, and the authorisation of military action through Security Council resolutions; it is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states. The UNSC held its first session on 17 January 1946.


The five permanent members (P5) have the power of veto over the adoption of proposed substantive resolutions. The veto was used extensively by the Soviet Union from 1946 up to 1970, then in the 1980s and 1990s extensively by USA (often to prevent Israel from censure). More recently Russia – which replaced the Soviet Union in 1991 – and China – which became a P5 member in 1971 – tend to deploy their vetoes the most:

UNSC vetoes.png

Arms Production

The 5 permanent UN Security Council members were all in the top 6 nations worldwide as regards arms export from 2012-2016.[1]


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Hunger As A Weaponarticle17 February 2014Franklin LambOn the US's exploitation at the UN Security Council of humanitarian suffering in Syria to cynically further its policy aims.
Document:Libya: Fine, but why Britainarticle20 March 2011Brian BarderDavid Cameron seemingly Gung Ho on toppling the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, while Barack Obama takes a back seat
File:Henderson-Testimony-UN.pdfTranscript10 February 2020Ian Henderson (OPCW)Transcript of the testimony of ex-OPCW inspector Ian Henderson before the UNSC on 20 January 2020 about the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria on 18 April 2018, and the subsequent OPCW report about it.