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The permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (also known as the Permanent Five, Big Five, or P5) are the five states which the UN Charter of 1945 grants a permanent seat on the UN Security Council: The People's Republic of China (formerly the Republic of China), the French Republic, the Russian Federation (formerly the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, aka the Soviet Union), the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America.[ not verified in body ] These countries were all allies in World War II (and the victors of that war),[ not verified in body ] and are also all states with nuclear weapons.[ not verified in body ] The remaining 10 members of the UNSC are elected, giving a total of 15 UN member states.[ not verified in body ] All five permanent members have the power of veto, which enables any one of them to prevent the adoption of any "substantive" draft Council resolution, regardless of its level of international support.[ not verified in body ] [ dead link ]
The following is a table of the current permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.
|Country||Current state representation[ citation needed ]||Former state representation[ citation needed ]||Current executive leaders[ citation needed ]||Current representative|
|President: Xi Jinping |
Premier: Li Keqiang
|Ma Zhaoxu [ full citation needed ]|
|President: Emmanuel Macron |
Prime Minister: Édouard Philippe
|François Delattre [ full citation needed ]|
|President: Vladimir Putin |
Prime Minister: Mikhail Mishustin
|Vasily Nebenzya [ full citation needed ]|
|—||Queen: Elizabeth II |
Prime Minister: Boris Johnson
|Karen Pierce [ full citation needed ]|
|—||President: Donald Trump||Kelly Craft [ full citation needed ]|
At the UN's founding in 1945, the five permanent members of the Security Council were the French Republic, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. There have been two seat changes since then, although not reflected in Article 23 of the United Nations Charter as it has not been accordingly amended:
Additionally, France reformed its provisional government into the French Fourth Republic in 1946 and later into the French Fifth Republic in 1958, both under the leadership of Charles de Gaulle. France maintained its seat as there was no change in its international status or recognition, although many of its overseas possessions eventually became independent.
The five permanent members of the Security Council were the victorious powers in World War II and have maintained the world's most powerful military forces ever since. They annually top the list of countries with the highest military expenditures; in 2011, they spent over US$1 trillion combined on defence, accounting for over 60% of global military expenditures (the U.S. alone accounting for over 40%). They are also five of the world's six largest arms exporters (along with Germany [ dead link ]), and are the only nations officially recognised as "nuclear-weapon states" under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), though there are other states known or believed to be in possession of nuclear weapons.
The "power of veto" refers to the veto power wielded solely by the permanent members, enabling them to prevent the adoption of any "substantive" draft Council resolution, regardless of the level of international support for the draft. The veto does not apply to procedural votes, which is significant in that the Security Council's permanent membership can vote against a "procedural" draft resolution, without necessarily blocking its adoption by the Council.
The veto is exercised when any permanent member—the so-called "P5"—casts a "negative" vote on a "substantive" draft resolution. Abstention or absence from the vote by a permanent member does not prevent a draft resolution from being adopted.
There have been proposals suggesting the introduction of new permanent members. The candidates usually mentioned are Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan. They comprise the group of four countries known as the G4 nations, which mutually support one another's bids for permanent seats.
This sort of reform has traditionally been opposed by the Uniting for Consensus group, which is composed primarily of nations that are regional rivals and economic competitors of the G4. The group is led by Italy and Spain (opposing Germany), Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina (opposing Brazil), Pakistan (opposing India), and South Korea (opposing Japan), in addition to Turkey, Indonesia and others. Since 1992, Italy and other council members have instead proposed semi-permanent seats or expanding the number of temporary seats.[ citation needed ]
Most of the leading candidates for permanent membership are regularly elected onto the Security Council by their respective groups. Japan was elected for eleven two-year terms, Brazil for ten terms, and Germany for three terms. India has been elected to the council seven times in total, with the most recent successful bid being in 2010 after a gap of almost twenty years since 1991–92.
In 2013, the P5 and G4 members of the UN Security Council accounted for eight of the world's ten largest defence budgets, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
The following are the heads of state and government that represent the permanent members of the UN Security Council as of 2019 [update] :[ citation needed ]
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), charged with ensuring international peace and security, recommending that the General Assembly accept new members to the United Nations, and approving any changes to its charter. Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations and international sanctions as well as the authorization of military actions through resolutions – it is the only body of the United Nations with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states. The council held its first session on 17 January 1946.
The United Nations member states are the 193 sovereign states that are members of the United Nations (UN) and have equal representation in the UN General Assembly. The UN is the world's largest intergovernmental organization.
A United Nations Security Council resolution is a UN resolution adopted by the fifteen members of the Security Council; the UN body charged with "primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security".
China is one of the charter members of the United Nations and is one of five permanent members of its Security Council.
The United States of America is a charter member of the United Nations and one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a charter member of the United Nations and one of five permanent members of the Security Council. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, its UN seat was transferred to the Russian Federation.
The G4 nations comprising Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan are four countries which support each other’s bids for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council. Unlike the G7, where the common denominator is the economy and long-term political motives, the G4's primary aim is the permanent member seats on the Security Council. Each of these four countries have figured among the elected non-permanent members of the council since the UN's establishment. Their economic and political influence has grown significantly in the last decades, reaching a scope comparable to the permanent members (P5). However, the G4's bids are often opposed by the Uniting for Consensus movement, and particularly their economic competitors or political rivals.
The Russian Federation succeeded the Soviet Union's seat, including its permanent membership on the Security Council in the United Nations after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The succession was supported by the USSR's former members and was not objected to by the UN membership; Russia accounted for about half the Soviet Union's economy and most of its land mass; in addition, the history of the Soviet Union began in Russia. If there was to be a successor to the Soviet seat on the Security Council among the former Soviet republics, these factors made Russia seem like a logical choice. Nonetheless, due to the rather inflexible wording of the United Nations Charter and its lack of provision for succession, the succession's technical legality has been questioned by some international lawyers.
The United Nations Security Council "veto power" refers to the power of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to veto any "substantive" resolution. However, a permanent member's abstention or absence does not prevent a draft resolution from being adopted. This veto power does not apply to "procedural" votes, as determined by the permanent members themselves. A permanent member can also block the selection of a Secretary-General, although a formal veto is unnecessary since the vote is taken behind closed doors.
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 377 A, the "Uniting for Peace" resolution, states that in any cases where the Security Council, because of a lack of unanimity amongst its five permanent members, fails to act as required to maintain international peace and security, the General Assembly shall consider the matter immediately and may issue any recommendations it deems necessary in order to restore international peace and security. If not in session at the time the General Assembly may meet using the mechanism of the emergency special session.
Amendments to the United Nations Charter can be made by a procedure set out in Chapter XVIII of the UN Charter. The UN Charter has been amended five times since 1945.
Reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) encompasses five key 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. The Member States, regional groups and other Member State interest groupings developed different positions and proposals on how to move forward on this contested issue.
The United Nations Regional Groups are the geopolitical regional groups of member states of the United Nations. Originally, UN member states were unofficially grouped into five geopolitical regional groups. What began as an informal means of sharing the distribution of posts for General Assembly committees has taken on a much more expansive role. Many UN bodies are allocated on the basis of geographical representation. Top leadership positions, including Secretary-General and President of the General Assembly, are rotated among the regional groups. The groups also coordinate substantive policy and form common fronts for negotiations and bloc voting.
The United Kingdom is a founding member of the United Nations and one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
The French Republic is a charter member of the United Nations and one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council. The nation originally joined the UN as the Provisional Government of the French Republic (PGFR) before being succeeded by the French Fourth Republic in 1946, however, after a series of crises, the French Fourth Republic collapsed. A constitutional referendum was held on 28 September 1958; 82.6% voted for constitution for the French Fifth Republic, which succeeded the seat of the former Fourth Republic, including its permanent membership on the United Nations Security Council.
The United Nations Security Council Resolution 84 was adopted on July 7, 1950. Having determined that the invasion of South Korea by forces from North Korea constituted a breach of the peace, the Council recommended that the members of the United Nations furnish such assistance to the South Korean state as may be necessary to repel the attack and restore peace and security to the area. The Council further recommended that all members providing military forces and other assistance to The Republic make these forces and assistance available to a unified command under the United States of America. The Council then requested that the United States designate the commander of such forces and authorized said commander to use the flag of the United Nations at his discretion in the course of operations against North Korean forces. Finally, The Council requested that the United States provide it with reports as appropriate on the course of action taken by the unified command.
Chapter II of the United Nations Charter deals with membership to the United Nations (UN) organization. Membership is open to the original signatories and "all other peace-loving states" that accept the terms and obligations set forth in the UN Charter and, "in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations". According to Chapter II of the UN Charter, in order to be admitted to the UN, a country must first be recommended by the UN Security Council and then approved by vote of the UN General Assembly. In addition, the admission must not be opposed by any of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, sometimes referred to as the Permanent Five or P5.
Chapter V of the United Nations Charter contains provisions establishing the United Nations Security Council.
Criticism of the United Nations has encompassed numerous arguments regarding various aspects of the organization, such as policy, ideology, equality of representation, administration, ability to enforce rulings, and ideological bias. Oft-cited points of criticism include a perceived lack of the body's efficacy, rampant anti-Semitism, appeasement, promotion of globalism, abuse of power by nations exerting general control over the assembly, a number of legislative decisions seen as abandonment of, among other things, the prevention of armed conflict clause(s) detailed in the Charter of the United Nations, corruption, a total lack of efficacy in both pre-emptive measures and de-escalation of existing conflicts which have ranged from social disputes to all-out wars, and misappropriation of resources.
United Nations Secretary-General selection is the process of selecting the next Secretary-General of the United Nations. To be selected as Secretary-General, a candidate must receive the votes of at least 9 members of the United Nations Security Council, with no vetoes from permanent members. The Secretary-General is then appointed by a majority vote of the United Nations General Assembly.