The Security Council has primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It is so organized as to be able to function to function continuously, and representatives of each of its members must be present at all times at United Nation Headquarters.
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 that have been instrumental in preventing wider hostilities.
It was sends United Nations peacekeeping forces to help reduce tensions it 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. (Which as trade embargoes) or collective military action.
A member state against which preventive or enforcement the Security Council has taken action may be suspended from the exercise of the rights and privileges of membership by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council. The Assembly on the Council's recommendation may expel a member state that has persistently violated the principles of the Charter from the United Nations.
A state that 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 he Council's discussions; the Council sets the conditions for participation by a non-members state.
The Presidency of the Council rotates monthly, according to the English alphabetical listing of its member states. The Council has 15 members-five permanent members and 10 elected by the General Assembly for two- year terms:
The permanent members of the Security Council are 1. USA 2.Russian Federation 3.UK 4. France and 5.China. Each Council member has one vote. Decisions on procedural matters are made by an affirmative vote of at least nine of the 15 members. Decisions on substantive matters require nine votes, including the concurring votes of all five permanent members. This is the rule of 'great power unanimity,' often referred to as the 'veto' power.
All members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council. While other organs of the United Nations make recommendations to governments, the Council alone has the power to take decisions that member states are obligated under the Charter to carry out.