Starting in November, China will lead the United Nations’ Security Council (UNSC) for the duration of approximately one year. The UNSC is one of the six main bodies of the United Nations.
“As far as I know, the UNSC will hold a number of sessions, in November, on issues of Syria, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, the Middle East, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Sahel region situation,” stated Lu Kang, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry.
The spokesperson added that “as rotating president of the UNSC, China is to work towards a bigger role for the security council, in line with the missions and principles of the UN Charter, in upholding objectiveness and fairness, cooperating in the spirit of unity, taking effective actions, and making positive steps to ensure political settlement of regional hotspot issues, thus playing a major role in maintaining international peace and security.”
China’s role as a permanent member of the UNSC has been very active. The country has dispatched nearly 35,000 troops, which participated in 24 peace-keeping missions as of the first half of 2017, according to state news agency the People’s Daily.
The UNSC's mandate is to accomplish these four purposes: “to maintain international peace and security, to develop friendly relations among nations, to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights and to be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations.”
One big difference between this organization and the other five is that the UNSC has the power, not only to give recommendations to states but, also, to “make decisions that member states are then obligated to implement under the Charter.”
The role of rotating president consists of overseeing certain actions of the council, such as approving the procedural agenda, presiding over meetings and guiding the organization during crises. The president of the body can issue statements, which have to be reviewed by the group to become declarations of intent which can be pursued by the council.
China has been a permanent member of the UNSC since its inception, in 1945.
Some of the Asian country's most important actions, since the 2000s, have been several vetoes: criticism of human rights situation in Myanmar (2007), sanctions against Zimbabwe (2008), sanctions against Syria (2011) as well as expressing opposition to military intervention in Syria (2012).