The General Assembly, which represents all member nations, is a “parliament of nations” that meets to consider the world’s most pressing problems. Each member nation holds one vote. Together, they make decisions on vital issues such as international peace and security by two- thirds majority; they decide other matters by simple majority. The Security Council of the UnitedNations holds themajor responsibility for maintaining international peace.The council may get together whenever peace is threatened.The UN Charter obligates all member nations to carry out decisions made by the council. Of the fifteen members of the Security Council, five—China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States—are permanent members, and members elect the other ten. The permanent members of the Security Council have veto power; a veto by any one of those countries defeats any proposal put before the council.
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