The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the principle organs of the United Nations, and was one of the original six that was formed at the birth of the UN. The Security Council is responsible for arguably the most important question facing the United Nations today – the maintenance of international peace and security. Exercising its power through UNSC Resolutions, the Security Council operates through peacekeeping missions, military interventions, and the establishment of international sanctions.
One particularly defining characteristic of the Security Council is the nature of its membership. The UNSC has 15 members, five of which (China, Russia, US, UK, and France) are permanent members and have vetoing powers. The remaining 10 members are chosen annually to serve 5 year terms. The seeming inequality of power within the Security Council has been subject to criticism, and leads to an interesting result in current global affairs, as the power of the veto among particular nations has an unavoidable effect on how international issues are dealt with, and the character of the UNSC resolutions as such. The five veto powers have also been criticized for having created an exclusive “nuclear club” as well.
The issues facing the Security Council this year are Iran’s Nuclear Program, and the Situation in Darfur, Sudan.