The Charter of the United Nations – an international treaty – obligates member states to settle their disputes by peaceful means, in such a manner that international peace, and security and justice are not endangered. They are to refrain from the threat or use of force against any state and may bring the dispute before the Security Council.
The UN Charter gives the Security Council primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. The Council may convene at any time, whenever peace is threatened. In contrast to the decisions made by the General Assembly, all Member States are obligated under the UN Charter to carry out the Security Council’s decisions.
There are 15 Council members. Five of these — China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States — are permanent members.