Document Type


Publication Title

Emory Int'l L. Rev. Recent Dev.

Publication Date

Spring 1-1-2018


The United Nations Security Council, while applauded for its effectiveness in certain situations, has failed to take action in response to many crises and conflicts that constitute serious threats to global peace and security. In particular, in 2017, there were six occurrences in which at least one of the five Permanent Members of the Security Council exercised its veto, preventing the Security Council from acting. While the Security Council and the Permanent Members are often criticized, the criticism is misplaced and reflects a widespread misunderstanding of the Security Council's structure, nature, and purpose. This Essay argues that the Security Council is not actually a collective security mechanism but, rather, is a tool whose primary aim is to maintain peaceful relations between the most powerful states in the international system.



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