What is the United Nations Security Council?

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What is the United Nations Security Council? Blog Image


The UK, France, and UAE have extended their support for India's permanent membership at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). India is holding the presidency of United Nations Security Council for the month of December 2022.

About United Nations Security Council (UNSC):

  • The United Nations Charter established six main organs of the United Nations, including the UN Security Council (UNSC).
  • UNSC has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
  • Under the Charter of the United Nations, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.
  • The Security Council takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression.
  • The Security Council has permanent residence at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.



  • Establishment of peacekeeping operations
  • Establishment of international sanctions
  • Authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions



  • The U.N. Charter provides for 15 members on the UNSC:
    • 5 permanent members known as P5, including United Kingdom, China, France, Russia and the US.
    • They have veto power over decisions of UNSC.
  • 10 non-permanent members
  • UNSC non-permanent membership:
    • Each year the 193-member General Assembly elects five non-permanent members for a two-year term at the UNSC.
    • The 10 non-permanent seats are distributed on a regional basis:
      • 5 for African and Asian countries (3 are for Africa and 2 for Asia)
        • Note: There is an informal understanding between the Africa and Asia to reserve one for an Arab country. The Africa and Asia Pacific group takes turns every two years to put up an Arab candidate.
      • 1 for Eastern European countries
      • 2 for Latin American and Caribbean countries
      • 2 for Western European and other countries.


Q1) On what basis was the Security Council permanent membership granted?

According to Oppenheim's International Law : United Nations, "Permanent membership in the Security Council was granted to five states based on their importance in the aftermath of World War II." Sometimes referred to as the P5, the permanent members of the Security Council have a unique role that has evolved over time.

Source: All India Radio