chapter  3
10 Pages

The British Chair in the UN Security Council (1992)

In the UN setting, the UN Security Council (UNSC) is the organ entrusted with primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security (Article 24 of the UN Charter). This refl ects the strong desire of the UN founders to see it playing a central role in international affairs, emerging as the leading world forum for the management of all threats to international order. The maintenance of international peace and security by the UNSC can be brought to fruition in three main ways: fi rst, as outlined in Article 26 of the UN Charter, through the formulation of plans for the regulation of armaments (Article 26); second, by dealing with, investigating and settling international disputes or situations that are likely to endanger international peace and security, following methods of peaceful settlement set out in Chapter VI of the UN Charter; third, by taking enforcement action to deal with threats to the peace, breaches of the peace and acts of aggression. According to Chapter VII of the UN Charter, two distinct forms of enforcement measures are available to the UNSC: those stipulated in Articles 40 and 41, not involving the use of armed force, and those prescribed in Articles 42-45 involving military action by air, land and naval forces. Finally, there is a fourth function of the UNSC, not foreseen in the UN Charter but developed later in practice: to authorize the launching of peacekeeping operations, which are not seen as pure military enforcement action as envisaged under Chapter VII.