UN extends arms embargo and other sanctions in South Sudan till May 2021 

#GS2 International 

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has extended the individual sanctions, travel ban and an arms embargo in South Sudan until May 2021. An arms embargo is a restriction or a set of sanctions that applies solely to weaponry. 

  • This extension has been drafted by the United States (US), which received 12 votes in favour while Russia, China and South Africa abstained it. 
  • The resolution will encourage developments in South Sudan’s peace process as the nation is emerging from a brutal six-year civil war that left 380,000 dead and millions displaced. 
  • The Security Council was asked to provide a report by the end of October on the role of the arms embargo in implementing a 2018 peace agreement as well as provide options for developing benchmarks. 

About UN Security Council 

  • United Nations Security Council and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. It is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states. 
  • It is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN). 
  • Like the UN as a whole, it was created following World War II to address the failings of a previous international organization, the League of Nations, in maintaining world peace. 
  • The council held its first session in 1946. 
  • It is the only body of the UN with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states. 
  • The Security Council consists of fifteen members: 
  • The great powers that were the victors of World War II – the Soviet Union (now represented by Russia), the United Kingdom, France, Republic of China (now represented by the People's Republic of China), and the United States – serve as the body's five permanent members. 
  • These can veto any substantive resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or nominees for the office of Secretary-General. 
  • In addition, the council has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve a term of two years. 
  • The body's presidency rotates monthly among its members. 
  • Resolutions of the Security Council are typically enforced by UN peacekeepers, military forces voluntarily provided by member states and funded independently of the main UN budget. 
  • Unlike the General Assembly, the Security Council meets year-round. Each Security Council member must have a representative available at UN Headquarters at all times in case an emergency meeting becomes necessary. 
  • Due to the public scrutiny of the Security Council Chamber, all of the real work of the Security Council is conducted behind closed doors in "informal consultations". 

Functions and Powers of UNSC 

  • To maintain international peace and security in accordance with the principles and purposes of the United Nations; 
  • 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; 
  • To determine the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression and to recommend what action should be taken; 
  • To call on Members to apply economic sanctions and other measures not involving the use of force to prevent or stop aggression; 
  • To take military action against an aggressor; 
  • To recommend the admission of new Members; 
  • To exercise the trusteeship functions of the United Nations in "strategic areas"; 
  • To recommend to the General Assembly the appointment of the Secretary-General and, 
  • To elect the Judges of the International Court of Justice. 
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