The United Nations


-------UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL -----------------------

   The Security Council has primary responsibility, under the Charter, for the
   maintenance of international peace and security. It is so organized as to be
   able to function continuously, and a representative of each of its members
   must be present at all times at United Nations Headquarters. On 31 January
   1992, the first ever Summit Meeting of the Council was convened at
   Headquarters, attended by Heads of State and Government of 13 of its 15
   members and by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the remaining two. The
   Council may meet elsewhere than at Headquarters; in 1972, it held a session
   in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and the following year in Panama City, Panama.
   When a complaint concerning a threat to peace is brought before it, the
   Council's first action is usually to recommend to the parties to try to
   reach agreement by peaceful means. In some cases, the Council itself
   undertakes investigation and mediation. It may appoint special
   representatives or request the Secretary-General to do so or to use his good
   offices. It may set forth principles for a peaceful settlement.
   When a dispute leads to fighting, the Council's first concern is to bring it
   to an end as soon as possible. On many occasions, the Council has issued
   cease-fire directives which have been instrumental in preventing wider
   hostilities. It also sends United Nations peace-keeping forces to help
   reduce tensions in troubled areas, keep opposing forces apart and create
   conditions of calm in which peaceful settlements may be sought. The Council
   may decide on enforcement measures, economic sanctions (such as trade
   embargoes) or collective military action.
   A Member State against which preventive or enforcement action has been taken
   by the Security Council may be suspended from the exercise of the rights and
   privileges of membership by the General Assembly on the recommendation of
   the Security Council. A Member State which has persistently violated the
   principles of the Charter may be expelled from the United Nations by the
   Assembly on the Council's recommendation.
   A State which is a Member of the United Nations but not of the Security
   Council may participate, without a vote, in its discussions when the Council
   considers that that country's interests are affected. Both Members of the
   United Nations and non-members, if they are parties to a dispute being
   considered by the Council, are invited to take part, without a vote, in the
   Council's discussions; the Council sets the conditions for participation by
   a non-member State.
   The presidency of the Council rotates monthly, according to the English
   alphabetical listing of its member States.
   The functions and powers of the Security Council are:

   * to maintain international peace and security in accordance with the
     principles and purposes of the United Nations;
   * to investigate any dispute or situation which might lead to
     international friction;
   * to recommend methods of adjusting such disputes or the terms of
   * to formulate plans for the establishment of a threat to peace or act of
     aggression and to recommend what action should be taken;
   * to call on Members to apply economic sanctions and other measures not
     involving the use of force to prevent or stop aggression;
   * to take military action against an aggressor;
   * to recommend the admission of new Members and the terms on which States
     may become parties to the Statute of the International Court of
   * to exercise the trusteeship functions of the United Nations in
     "strategic areas":
   * to recommend to the General Assembly the appointment of the
     Secretary-General and, together with the Assembly, to elect the Judges
     of the International Court.

   * Committee of Experts on Rules of Procedure (studies and advises on
     rules of procedure and other technical matters) (S/C.1/-)
   * Committee on Admission of New Members (S/C.2/-)