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United Nations Security Council Fast Facts

By CNN Library
updated 12:15 PM EDT, Tue April 8, 2014

(CNN) -- Here's a look at the United Nations Security Council, a 15 member body within the United Nations.

Overview:
The Security Council has 15 members.

There are five permanent members: the United States, the Russian Federation, France, China, and the United Kingdom.

Ten temporary members elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms.

In 2014, the rotating members of the Security Council are Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, South Korea, and Rwanda.

In 2015, the rotating members of the Security Council will be Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania, and Nigeria.

U.N. Security Council Voting:
To be approved, a Council resolution must have nine "YES" votes out of 15 and no "NO" votes from any of the five permanent members.

Each Council member has one vote.

A "NO" vote from one of the five permanent members kills the resolution.

There is no such thing as a "VETO" vote in formal U.N. rules, though a "NO" vote from a permanent member has the effect of vetoing a resolution.

If a member "ABSTAINS" from voting, it does not count as either a "YES" or "NO" vote.

Members raise their hands to vote, and sit at a horseshoe-shaped table.

Each of the five Permanent Members have gone to war or invaded a country without Security Council approval.

Security Council Vetoes:
The United States has used its veto 83 times. The United States did not use its veto until 1970, but has used it frequently since, over issues concerning the Middle East.

France has used its veto 18 times.

China has used its veto 9 times.

Great Britain has used its veto 32 times.

The Soviet Union used the veto 119 times. Russia has used the veto ten times. Andrei Gromyko, Soviet Union foreign minister from 1957 to 1985, became known as "Mr. Nyet" for his prolific use of the veto.

U.N. Security Council Presidency:
The presidency of the Council rotates monthly, going alphabetically among member states.

2014 Schedule of Presidency:
January: Jordan
February: Lithuania
March: Luxembourg
April: Nigeria
May: Republic of Korea
June: Russian Federation
July: Rwanda
August: United Kingdom
September: United States
October: Argentina
November: Australia
December: Chad

UNSC Authority & Power:
All Members of the United Nations agree to accept and execute the decisions of the Security Council:
"The Security Council has primary responsibility, under the UN charter, for the maintenance of international peace and security."
"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 settlement;
"to formulate plans for the establishment of a system to regulate armaments;"
"to determine the existence of a threat to the 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"
"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 of Justice."

The Security Council's charter allows it to dispatch a U.N. force to stop aggression.

Member countries must make troops and facilities available to serve in international peace and security missions.

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