How does a U.N. Security Council resolution get passed?

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Oct. 2 2002 7:16 PM

How Does a U.N. Security Council Resolution Get Passed?

The Bush administration wants the U.N. Security Council to pass a new resolution, demanding that Iraq comply with weapons inspections or face military action. How does a Security Council resolution get passed?


A Security Council resolution requires nine affirmative votes total, and no veto from any of the five permanent members. The five permanent members are the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and China. The 10 nonpermanent members are Bulgaria, Cameroon, Guinea, Mexico, Syria, Mauritius, Norway, Singapore, Colombia, and Ireland. In January, the last five will be replaced by Angola, Chile, Germany, Pakistan, and Spain. Nonpermanent members serve a two-year term.

The rotating members are chosen from each of five regions—Latin America and the Carribean, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Western Europe and Others. Each region generally nominates two countries, and the final decision is made by the General Assembly.

Several countries, including Germany and Japan, want permanent member status, which would require an amendment to the U.N. charter.

Kate Taylor is the arts reporter at the New York Sun and the editor of an anthology of essays about anorexia, Going Hungry, which will be published next spring.

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