• The Security Council has primary responsibility, under the UN Charter, for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 Members (5 permanent and 10 non-permanent members).
  • The 10 non-permanent members are elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms.
  • Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions.
  • The Security Council takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression.
  • It calls upon the parties to a dispute to settle it by peaceful means and recommends methods of adjustment or terms of the settlement.
  • In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.

  • The UN reforms agenda includes 5 issues: categories of membership, the question of the veto held by the five permanent members, regional representation, the size of an enlarged Council and its working methods, and the Security Council-General Assembly relationship.UPSC Prelims 2024 dynamic test series
  • Any reform of the Security Council would require the agreement of at least two-thirds of UN member states and that of all the permanent members of the UNSC enjoying the veto right.
  • The UNSC faces a lot of criticism today like its general ineffectiveness, its strong bent towards the already powerful P5 (Permanent Members), the veto power and the issue of geographic representation (which currently represents a European bias).
  • The group of 4 nations (G4) - Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan are the newest proposals for permanent membership. The United Kingdom, France, and Russia support G4’s permanent membership in the U.N. Security Council.
  • To counter G4 nations’ bid for permanent membership, there emerged a movement called Uniting for Consensus/Coffee Club led by Italy in the 1990s. Members include Pakistan, South Korea, Spain, Canada, Argentina, Mexico, and Turkey.
These countries propose to increase non-permanent members from 10 to 20 while keeping the permanent membership to 5.

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