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Research Papers on the Functions of the UN Security Council

Research papers on the functions of the UN Security Council explicate the roll of the Council and how the Charter guides it. Paper Masters has political science writers that write research on International government and the UN.

Under the Charter of the United Nations, the UN Security Council has specific functions.

  • In addition to the maintenance of international peace and security, it has conciliatory and coercive powers.
  • Conciliatory powers include the authority to investigate any dispute or situation which might lead to an international conflict
  • Recommend methods of mediating disputes or settlements
  • Recommend action to avert threats to peace or acts of aggression. Functions of the UN Security Council

The United Nation's Charter lists several means for the settlement of disputes, including:

  • Negotiation
  • Enquiry
  • Mediation
  • Conciliation
  • Arbitration
  • Judgement by a court
  • Proceeding through regional agencies, and other means.

However, the role of the Security Council in providing these settlements is not always clear. For example, the Council may either offer conciliatory services in the case of disputes, or simply wait for the dispute to be brought before the Council. In other words, if nine member nations on the Security Council believe that an issue warrants intervention, then they will intercede with conciliatory action. If the members do not believe that a dispute warrants intervention, then the nations involved in the dispute must bring their problem before the Security Council. In this respect, the Security Council's role is to judge international circumstances to determine if conciliatory intervention is necessary. Because the Security Council is charged with the maintenance of world peace, these determinations should transcend political interests, but again, the diverse nature of the Council's members often results in competing political, cultural and economic interests.

In its role as international peacekeeper, the Security also has coercive powers designed to enforce its resolutions and prevent large-scale aggression. The Security Council's coercive powers include the authority to "call on Members to apply economic sanctions and other measures not involving the use of force to prevent or stop aggression," and to take military action against an aggressor as a last resort. Furthermore, the legal limits of the Council expand if there is a direct threat or breach of peace by one or more nations. If the Security does decide that coercive actions, such as the sanctions applied on Iraq since the 1990s, are required, then member governments have a legal obligation to act on those measures. If all other conciliatory and coercive tactics fail, then the Security Council may step in with military force to protect a civilian population and prevent the attempted invasion by one country over another.

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