The United Nations Charter resulted from negotiations
carried out at the end of World War II and has been in force since 1945.
In the institutional architecture of the UN, it has been attributed to a body of reduced composition – the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) – primacy over the conduct of matters related to international peace and security. The war has become a violation of international law, and states have pledged to resolve their disputes by peaceful means and to avoid using force in international relations.
Based on Chapters VI or VII of the UN Charter, the Security Council can decide on measures to be taken in relation to states whose actions do not comply with international peace and security norms. Among the decisions that can be taken under Chapter VII are the arms embargo, comprehensive sanctions and even authorization for armed intervention. These measures are mandatory manifestations of the UNSC authority, as they do not require the consent of the parties in conflict.
The Security Council is composed of five permanent members (United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom - the "P-5") and ten non-permanent members, elected for two-year terms. After Japan, Brazil is the country that was most often elected to the UNSC as a non-permanent member. It joined the Council ten times, in the biennia 1946-47, 1951-52, 1954-55, 1963-64, 1967-68, 1988-89, 1993-94, 1998-99, 2004-05 and 2010-11. For the latest term, it was elected with 182 votes (out of 183 voting countries), which demonstrates the wide recognition of Brazil's contributions to the work of the Council. In addition to acting at the UNSC as an elective member, Brazil maintains the practice of participating in the open debates organized by that body.
Aware of the importance of the Security Council's duties, Brazil maintains that the body must act in a transparent and responsible manner and be always guided by the basic principles of the United Nations Charter. The country defends diplomatic and political means to resolve conflicts and considers that coercive measures are options of last resort.
Brazil seeks to contribute to improving the conceptual development of peace and security issues, such as preventive diplomacy, the most effective means of protecting civilian populations at risk of violence. It also emphasizes the interdependence between security and development, which was endorsed by the Security Council in a statement adopted under the Brazilian presidency of the Council in February 2011.
Characterized by its position of independence, balance and capacity for dialogue, Brazil acts - during its terms at the UNSC and in other United Nations bodies - to build consensus, especially in situations of great polarization and divergence among the members of the UNSC.
Brazil advocates the need to reform the UNSC in order to make it more legitimate and representative of the group of UN member states, which today total 193 countries. The reform is necessary for the body to reflect the contemporary world. It is a matter of preserving the United Nations framework, adapting its structures to the requirements of the 21st century.