- Topic 1 – Assessment of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran Nuclear Agreement)
Background Report: Assessment of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action
- Topic 2 – Peace and Stability in Central Africa
Background Report: Peace and Stability in Central Africa
Description of the Council
Under the UN Charter, the Security Council has the responsibility of keeping international peace. It is the most powerful body of the United Nations; while other committees can only make recommendations, the Security Council makes decisions that countries have to follow. The Security Council meets throughout the year to address the most serious security issues facing the UN and the world.
The Council is made up of 15 nations: five are permanent members and the remaining 10 seats rotate every 2 years among the nations in the UN. The 5 permanent members are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Each of these nations has “veto power,” which means that whenever any one of these countries votes “no” on a resolution, that resolution automatically fails. In order for a resolution to pass, all the permanent members must vote “yes.”
The Security Council may deal with international conflict in many ways. When fighting breaks out, the Council’s first goal is usually to call for a ceasefire, or an end to violence. It may also send peacekeeping forces to protect citizens and ensure that any UN decisions are carried out. The Security Council can use more forceful measures too, such as economic sanctions, which prevent a country from receiving money or trade. In the most serious situations, the Security Council can order the use of military force.