Security Council (Module 02)
Functions of The Security Council
The Security Council (SC) is one of the most important UN bodies. The SC has the power to deal with any situation that could harm international peace. Today, it has five permanent members (China, France, Russia, UK, USA), known as the P5, and 10 non-permanent members. The non-permanent members are elected by the General Assembly every two years. The P5 are the only members that can veto resolutions.
Veto Power & Its Implications
- The SC’s moral legitimacy is called into question because the P5’s veto power protects them from acts harmful to others in the worldwide community or for harmful offences within their own borders.
- Worldwide powers have changed since World War II; for example, Germany and Japan have surpassed France, the United Kingdom and Russia in money-based power.
- Countries such as India have increased in population. Veto Power gives P-5 countries immunization free from the fear that they will be negatively affected by any resolution of which they seriously disapprove.
- The 15 members of the Council are not representative of the total UN Membership (193 nations total).
- 178 remaining nations are effectively denied any decsion-making power in the Security Council. The sovereign equality principle simply does not apply.
- The votes of very small nations with non-permanent seats like Malta count equally with those of demographic giants like India.
- Is expanding the Council membership, be it non-permanent or permanent, something that should be implemented?
- Should the P5 nations keep their veto power? If “no,” how might you do this? If “yes,” should restrictions be placed on it or qualifications (such as troop contributions) be needed for use?
- If the council should be expanded, should permanent members be added?
- A document that is written to do or enact something that is formal expression of opinion or plan agreed on by a law-based body, (group that decides or promotes something) or other formal meeting, usually after taking a vote (think why people do New Year’s Resolutions).
- Veto Power
- The ability to block a law or resolution from being enacted.
- Refers to the Security Council 5 permanent members that also have veto power: China, France, Russia, UK, USA.
- The power of a government to control its borders, laws and citizens. For example, the United States of America is a sovereign state.
- Sovereign Equality
- is the concept in which every sovereign state possesses the same legal rights as any other sovereign state in international law.
- A threatened penalty for disobeying a law or rule.
There are several types of sanctions.
Military sanctions – military intervention
Sport sanctions – preventing one country’s people and teams from competing in international events.
- Is the right and acceptance of an authority, usually a governing law or a régime.
- Moral Legitimacy
- Refers to the approval of what is morally ‘good’ and what is morally ‘bad’ in. society, reflecting. a moral framework for the conduct of social life. Unlike externally enforced rules and laws, [moral] norms.