What are the five veto power countries

The United Nations

According to Article 24 of the UN Charter, the United Nations Security Council in New York has primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. Its decisions are binding for all UN member states.


If the Security Council detects a threat to international security, a breach of the peace or an act of aggression, it has a wide range of possible reactions at its disposal. As a rule, he first asks the conflicting parties to come to an agreement peacefully. However, the Security Council can also conduct its own investigations, mediate or establish conditions for the settlement of conflicts - e.g. work out a ceasefire agreement. More far-reaching measures that interfere with the sovereignty of states include, for example, non-military sanctions such as the interruption of trade and transport routes or communication links. Military measures such as sea blockades, air strikes or the dispatch of ground troops or observers are also possible.

By joining the United Nations, states undertake to implement the resolutions of the Security Council. In practice, however, the Security Council also relies on a high level of voluntary support. For example, contrary to what was originally provided for in the UN Charter, it does not have its own soldiers. Troops must be made available by the member states.

The United Nations Security Council has 15 members, including five permanent and ten non-permanent. The permanent members (Great Britain, France, Russia, China and the USA) are permanent members of the body and, as the victorious powers of World War II (or their successors), have special powers with the so-called right of veto: Each of these states can alone prevent decisions of the Security Council. According to the UN Charter, resolutions of the Security Council on procedural questions require a majority of nine votes, whereby the permanent members are also allowed to abstain. Procedural questions include resolutions on the agenda and the course of the meeting or the invitation to attend the meeting. Resolutions on all other questions also require a majority of nine votes, including the votes of all permanent members. In practice, this regulation has resulted in a complex system of negotiations and voting processes, since the so-called "veto powers" used their voting rights to block decisions, especially during the East-West conflict.

The non-permanent members are elected by the General Assembly of the United Nations for two years each according to an informal regional key from among the UN member states. Three seats are allocated to African countries - two each to countries from Asia, Latin America and Europe (including the rest of the world) and one to countries from Eastern Europe.

The Secretary General of the United Nations attends the meetings of the Security Council but has no voting rights. The Security Council also proposes candidates for the office of Secretary General, who is then appointed by the General Assembly.

The composition of the Security Council is a central point of criticism of the United Nations. For example, the federal government argues that the permanent members still reflect the power relationship after the end of the Second World War, which is no longer representative of today's world order. Germany is therefore campaigning for a reform of the Security Council and a permanent seat for the European Union in this body.

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