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Security Council Presidency

(December 2002)



The Presidency of the Council rotates monthly according to the English alphabetical listing of the Member States' names. Colombia will serve as President during December 2002. Ambassador Alfonso Valdivieso, the Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations, will lead the Colombian delegation to the Security Council.

The duties of Ambassador Valdivieso as Council President will include:

• presiding over formal and informal meetings of the Council;

• representing the Council at special meetings or seminars;

• consulting with Council and other UN Members who may have business to bring before the Council; and

• speaking to the press on behalf of the members of the Council in order to express the general consensus of the members on a particular issue.

Five permanent (the United Kingdom, the United States, China, France and the Russian Federation) and ten non-permanent members compose the Council.

The current non-permanent members of the Council are Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia, Guinea, Ireland, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Singapore, and Syrian Arab Republic.

The non-permanent members are elected by the General Assembly for two-year terms according to the following pattern: five from African and Asian states; one from Eastern European states; two from Latin American and Caribbean states; and two from Western European and Other states.

Council decisions on procedural matters are made by an affirmative vote of at least nine of the 15 members. Decisions on substantive matters also require nine affirmative votes, including the non-blocking votes of all five permanent members.

The Security Council is the only organ of the United Nations that has the power to take decisions that all Members States are obligated under the United Nations Charter to accept and carry out.

The functions and the powers of the Security Council include:

• maintaining international peace and security in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations;

• investigating any dispute or situation which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute, in order to determine whether the continuance of the dispute or situation is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security;

• calling on the parties to settle the dispute by peaceful means or recommending appropriate procedures or methods of adjusting such disputes;

• taking enforcement measures, including a mandatory call for Member States to apply economic sanctions and other measures against the aggressor;

• calling for military action, should it consider the above measures inadequate;

• recommending the admission of new Members to the United Nations; and

• recommending to the General Assembly the appointment of the Secretary-General and, together with the General Assembly, electing the Judges of the International Court of Justice.


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