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Permanent membership of the UNSC

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UPSC Current Affairs

Permanent membership of the UNSC

  • Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe said his government will back the bids of India and Japan for permanent member status at the UN Security Council.
About the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) :
    • The Security Council was established by the UN Charter in 1945.
    • It is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations.
    • The other 5 organs of the United Nations are—the General Assembly (UNGA), the Trusteeship Council, the Economic and Social Council, the International Court of Justice, and the Secretariat.
    • Its primary responsibility is to work to maintain international peace and security.
    • The council is headquartered at New York.
Composition:
  • The council has 15 members: the five permanent members and ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms.
  • The five permanent members are the United States, the Russian Federation, France, China and the United Kingdom.
  • India, for the eighth time, has entered the UNSC as a non-permanent member in 2021 and will stay on the council for two years i.e 2021-22.
  • Each year, the General Assembly elects five non-permanent members (out of ten in total) for a two-year term. The ten non-permanent seats are distributed on a regional basis.
  • The council’s presidency is a capacity that rotates every month among its 15 members.
Veto power of UNSC member states:
  • The UN defines ‘veto’ as a “special voting power“, which provides that “if any one of the five permanent members cast a negative vote in (UNSC), the resolution or decision would not be approved”.
  • However, the “veto power” is restricted to P5 member states of the UN Security Council. Non-permanent members of the UNSC do not enjoy this privilege.
UPSC Prelims Model Question

Q. With reference to the United Nation Security Council (UNSC), consider the following statements :

  1. The primary responsibility of the UNSC is to maintain international peace and security.
  2. Veto is a special voting power enjoyed by the permanent member states only.
  3. India is one of the 10 non-permanent members of UNSC.

Which of the statements given above is /are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

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