UN Security Council reaffirms its opposition to chemical weapons

4 min read

News: The United Nations Security Council has unanimously passed a declaration proposed by Britain expressing support for the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons.

Facts:

About Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons

  • It aims to eliminate an entire category of weapons of mass destruction by prohibiting the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, retention, transfer or use of chemical weapons.
  •  It was signed in 1993 and came into force in 1997.
  • It is administered by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), an intergovernmental organization based in the Hague, Netherlands.
  • It has 193 member states including India. North Korea, Egypt and South Sudan have not signed it, while Israel has signed but not ratified the pact.

Additional Information:

UN Security Council (UNSC):

  • The United Nations Charter of 1945 established six main organs of the United Nations, including the Security Council. Other organs are UNGA, ECOSOC, Trusteeship Council, ICJ and UN secretariat.

Members:

  • The Security Council consists of ten elected members and five permanent members who have veto power (P-5) – China, the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Russia.
  • The ten non-permanent members are elected on a regional basis by the General Assembly, (from five areas- five from Asia and Africa, one from Eastern Europe, two from Latin America, two from Western Europe) to serve two year terms. The body’s presidency rotates among its members on a monthly basis.
  • The decisions are taken by the affirmative vote of nine members and a concurring vote of P-5 who have the power to veto (or say no) any resolution.

Role:

  • Maintaining international peace and security is one of the primary functions of the UNSC.
  • To investigate any dispute or situation which might lead to international friction.
  • To recommend methods of adjusting such disputes or the terms of settlement.
  • To formulate plans for the establishment of a system to regulate armaments

Powers:

  • It is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states. 
  • It determines the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression and recommends what action should be taken.
  • It has the power to call on Members to apply economic sanctions and other measures not involving the use of force to prevent or stop aggression.
  • It can suspend economic and diplomatic relations between countries, impose blockades, and can authorize collective military action.