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  • 07 December, 2023

  • 2 Min Read

Article 99 of the UN Charter

Amid Israel’s ongoing military attacks on the Gaza Strip, United Nations (UN) has invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter in a bid to establish a ceasefire.

  • It has been invoked for the 1st time in decades as Israel attacks Gaza.
  • Article 99 - “The Secretary-General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.”
  • It is seen as a discretionary power of the Secretary-General.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) comprises 5 permanent and 10 non-permanent members appointed for specific periods. On a rotational basis, each of these 15 countries holds the presidency for a month. The South American country of Ecuador is the President for December 2023.

  • Impact – The President of the UNSC is under the obligation to call a meeting of the Council.
  • Earlier Invocations
    • During the upheaval in the Republic of the Congo in 1960 following the end of Belgium’s colonial rule.
    • During a complaint by Tunisia in 1961 against France’s naval and air forces launching an attack.

UN Charter

  • It is the founding document of the United Nations.
  • Launched in – June 1945 and came into force on October 1945.
  • It has been amended 3 times in 1963, 1965, and 1973.
  • Legality – It is an instrument of international law, and UN Member States are bound by it but in practice, there is little that member countries can be forced to do.
  • It consists of a preamble and 111 articles grouped into 19 chapters.
  • The International Court of Justice (ICJ) functions in accordance with the Statute of the International Court of Justice, which is annexed to the UN Charter.

For a UN resolution to be adopted, it needs at least 9 votes in favour and no vetoes by the 5 permanent members (US, UK, France, China and Russia).


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