Security Council Presidency in 2015 Meeting locationsUS President Barack Obama chairs a United Nations Security Council meeting
| Chile ||January |
| People''s Republic of China ||February |
| France ||March |
| Jordan ||April |
| Lithuania ||May |
| Malaysia ||June |
| New Zealand ||July |
| Nigeria ||August |
| Russia ||September |
| Spain ||October |
| United Kingdom ||November |
| United States ||December |
Unlike the General Assembly, the Security Council meets year-round. Each Security Council member must have a representative available at UN Headquarters at all times in case an emergency meeting becomes necessary.
The Security Council generally meets in a designated chamber in the United Nations Conference Building in New York City, U.S. The chamber was designed by the Norwegian architect Arnstein Arneberg and was a gift from Norway. The mural painted by the Norwegian artist Per Krohg depicts a phoenix rising from its ashes, symbolic of the world''s rebirth after World War II.
The Security Council has also held meetings in cities including Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Panama City, Panama; and Geneva, Switzerland. In March 2010, the Security Council moved into a temporary facility in the General Assembly Building as its chamber underwent renovations as part of the UN Capital Master Plan. The renovations were funded by Norway, the chamber''s original donor, for a total cost of US$5million. The chamber reopened on 16 April 2013. Subsidiary organs/bodies
Article 29 of the Charter provides that the Security Council can establish subsidiary bodies in order to perform its functions. This authority is also reflected in Rule 28 of the Provisional Rules of Procedure. The subsidiary bodies established by the Security Council are extremely heterogenous. On the one hand, they include bodies such as the Security Council Committee on Admission of New Members. On the other hand, both the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda were also created as subsidiary bodies of the Security Council. The by now numerous Sanctions Committees (see Category:United Nations Security Council sanctions regimes) established in order to oversee implementation of the various sanctions regimes are also subsidiary bodies of the Council. United Nations peacekeepers Main articles: United Nations peacekeeping and List of United Nations peacekeeping missions
After approval by the Security Council, the UN may send peacekeepers to regions where armed conflict has recently ceased or paused to enforce the terms of peace agreements and to discourage combatants from resuming hostilities. Since the UN does not maintain its own military, peacekeeping forces are voluntarily provided by member states. These soldiers are sometimes nicknamed "Blue Helmets" for their distinctive gear. The peacekeeping force as a whole received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988.Bolivian "Blue Helmet" at an exercise in Chile
In September 2013, the UN had 116,837 peacekeeping soldiers and other personnel deployed on 15 missions. The largest was the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), which included 20,688 uniformed personnel. The smallest, United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), included 42 uniformed personnel responsible for monitoring the ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir. Peacekeepers with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) have been stationed in the Middle East since 1948, the longest-running active peacekeeping mission.
UN peacekeepers have also drawn criticism in several postings. Peacekeepers have been accused of child rape, soliciting prostitutes, or sexual abuse during various peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Liberia, Sudan and what is now South Sudan, Burundi and Ivory Coast. Scientists cited UN peacekeepers from Nepal as the likely source of the 2010–13 Haiti cholera outbreak, which killed more than 8,000 Haitians following the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
The budget for peacekeeping is assessed separately from the main UN organisational budget; in the 2013–2014 fiscal year, peacekeeping expenditures totalled $7.54 billion. UN peace operations are funded by assessments, using a formula derived from the regular funding scale, but including a weighted surcharge for the five permanent Security Council members. This surcharge serves to offset discounted peacekeeping assessment rates for less developed countries. In 2013, the top 10 providers of assessed financial contributions to United Nations peacekeeping operations were the US (28.38%), Japan (10.83%), France (7.22%), Germany (7.14%), the United Kingdom (6.68%), China (6.64%), Italy (4.45%), Russian Federation (3.15%), Canada (2.98%), and Spain (2.97%). Criticism and evaluations Main article: Criticism of the United Nations
In examining the first sixty years of the Security Council''s existence, British historian Paul Kennedy concludes that "glaring failures had not only accompanied the UN''s many achievements, they overshadowed them", identifying the lack of will to prevent ethnic massacres in Bosnia and Rwanda as particular failures. Kennedy attributes the failures to the UN''s lack of reliable military resources, writing that "above all, one can conclude that the practice of announcing (through a Security Council resolution) a new peacekeeping mission without ensuring that sufficient armed forces will be available has usually proven to be a recipe for humiliation and disaster."
A 2005 RAND Corporation study found the UN to be successful in two out of three peacekeeping efforts. It compared UN nation-building efforts to those of the United States, and found that seven out of eight UN cases are at peace, as compared with four out of eight US cases at peace. Also in 2005, the Human Security Report documented a decline in the number of wars, genocides and human rights abuses since the end of the Cold War, and presented evidence, albeit circumstantial, that international activism—mostly spearheaded by the UN—has been the main cause of the decline in armed conflict since the end of the Cold War.
Scholar Sudhir Chella Rajan argued in 2006 that the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, who are all nuclear powers, have created an exclusive nuclear club that predominately addresses the strategic interests and political motives of the permanent members—for example, protecting the oil-rich Kuwaitis in 1991 but poorly protecting resource-poor Rwandans in 1994. Since three of the five permanent members are also European, and three or four are predominantly white Western nations, the Security Council has been described as a pillar of global apartheid by Titus Alexander, former Chair of Westminster United Nations Association.
The Security Council''s effectiveness and relevance is questioned by some because, in most high-profile cases, there are essentially no consequences for violating a Security Council resolution. During the Darfur crisis, Janjaweed militias, allowed by elements of the Sudanese government, committed violence against an indigenous population, killing thousands of civilians. In the Srebrenica massacre, Serbian troops committed genocide against Bosniaks, although Srebrenica had been declared a UN safe area, protected by 400 armed Dutch peacekeepers. The UN Charter gives all three powers of the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches to the Security Council.
In his inaugural speech at the 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in August 2012, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei criticized the United Nations Security Council as having an "illogical, unjust and completely undemocratic structure and mechanism" and called for a complete reform of the body.
The amount of time devoted to the Israeli-Arab conflict in the UNSC has been described as excessive by some pro-Israel political organizations such as the UN Watch and the Anti-Defamation League, and academics such as Alan Dershowitz, Martin Kramer, and Mitchell Bard. This “excessiveness” is partially due to the existence of the Security Council Resolution 1322 (2000), that serves the legal basis for a monthly discussion on this protracted conflict. Paragraph 7 “invites the Secretary-General to continue to follow the situation and to keep the Council informed.” In accordance with its general practices, it is considered that this issue has to be dealt on a regular basis (i.e. every month). The resolution was adopted with 14 affirmative votes and one abstention. At the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key heavily criticized the UN''s inaction on Syria, more than two years after the Syrian civil war began. Membership reform Main article: Reform of the United Nations Security CouncilThe G4 nations: Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan.
Proposals to reform the Security Council began with the conference that wrote the UN Charter and have continued to the present day. As British historian Paul Kennedy writes, "Everyone agrees that the present structure is flawed. But consensus on how to fix it remains out of reach."
There has been discussion of increasing the number of permanent members. The countries who have made the strongest demands for permanent seats are Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan. Japan and Germany, the main defeated powers in WWII, are now the UN''s second- and third-largest funders respectively, while Brazil and India are two of the largest contributors of troops to UN-mandated peace-keeping missions. This proposal has found opposition in a group of countries called Uniting for Consensus.
Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan asked a team of advisers to come up with recommendations for reforming the United Nations by the end of 2004. One proposed measure is to increase the number of permanent members by five, which, in most proposals, would include Brazil, Germany, India, Japan (known as the G4 nations), one seat from Africa (most likely between Egypt, Nigeria or South Africa) and/or one seat from the Arab League. On 21 September 2004, the G4 nations issued a joint statement mutually backing each other''s claim to permanent status, together with two African countries. Currently the proposal has to be accepted by two-thirds of the General Assembly (128 votes).
The permanent members, each holding the right of veto, announced their positions on Security Council reform reluctantly. The United States has unequivocally supported the permanent membership of Japan and lent its support to India and a small number of additional non-permanent members. The United Kingdom and France essentially supported the G4 position, with the expansion of permanent and non-permanent members and the accession of Germany, Brazil, India and Japan to permanent member status, as well as an increase in the presence by African countries on the Council. China has supported the stronger representation of developing countries and firmly opposed Japan''s membership.
India''s bid for permanent member of UNSC is backed by all permanent members - bar China - namely France, Russia, the United Kingdom and United States, although the United States initially opposed India''s candidacy on grounds of nuclear proliferation, as India has acquired nuclear weapons and not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. On 15 April 2011, China officially expressed its support for an increased Indian role at the United Nations, without explicitly endorsing India''s Security Council ambitions. However, recently China has expressed its support for Indian candidacy as a permanent member of the Security Council if India revoked its support for Japanese candidacy, thus making India the only candidate that has received support from all permanent members and most other nations as well.
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