The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the five active principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security as well as accepting new members to the United Nations and approving any changes to its United Nations Charter.
Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions. It is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.
The Security Council consists of fifteen members. Five of these are permanent members. They are based on the five nations that were the victors of World War II: France, Russian Federation, People’s Republic of China, United Kingdom and the United States. Permanent members can veto any substantive Security Council resolution.
The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, elected by the General Assembly on a regional basis to serve two-year terms. The body’s presidency rotates monthly among its 15 members.