Membership of the United Nations Security Council is held by the five permanent members and ten elected, non-permanent members. Prior to 1966, there were six elected members, while the permanent members have in essence not changed since the creation of the United Nations in 1945, apart from the representation of China. Elected members hold their place on the Council for a two-year term, and half of these places are contested each year. To ensure geographical continuity, a certain number of members is allocated for each of the five UN regional groupings.
- Permanent members
|Country||Regional Group||Member Since|
|People's Republic of China||Asia-Pacific Group||1971, replaced the Republic of China|
|France||Western European and Others Group||1946|
|Russian Federation||Eastern European Group||1991, replaced the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics|
|United Kingdom||Western European and Others Group||1946|
|United States||Western European and Others Group||1946|
- Non-permanent members
|Country||Regional Group||Term Began||Term Ends|
|Argentina||Latin American & Caribbean Group (GRULAC)||2013||2014|
|Australia||Western European and Others Group||2013||2014|
|Chile||Latin American & Caribbean Group (GRULAC)||2014||2015|
|Lithuania||Eastern European Group||2014||2015|
|Luxembourg||Western European and Others Group||2013||2014|
|Republic of Korea||Asia-Pacific Group||2013||2014|
- African Group: 3 members
- Asia-Pacific Group:[note 1] 2 members
- Eastern European Group (CEIT, or Countries with Economies in Transition): 1 member
- Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC): 2 members
- Western European and Others Group (WEOG): 2 members; at least one of these must be from Western Europe
In addition, one of the non-permanent members of the council is an Arab country, alternately from the African or Asia-Pacific groups. This rule was added to the system in 1967 for it to be applied beginning with 1968.
Each year the UN General Assembly elects five new members for a two-year term; these elections always begin in October of the year, and continue until the two-thirds majority for the number of countries for each region has been reached. Re-election is allowed, but the term must not be consecutive.
- Electoral timetable
|Term beginning in years that are:||odd||even|
|African Group||one member||two members *|
|Asia-Pacific Group||one member||one member *|
|Eastern European Group||none||one member|
|Latin American & Caribbean Group (GRULAC)||one member||one member|
|Western European and Others Group||two members||none|
* The representative of Arab nations alternates between these two elected spaces.
Previous and future Security Council composition
From 1946 to 1965, the security council included six non-permanent members. The regional grouping at that time was:
- Latin America: 2 members
- Commonwealth of Nations: 1 member
- Eastern Europe: 1 member
- Middle East: 1 member
- Western Europe: 1 member
There were some exceptions to this grouping: Liberia took the place of a Western European country in 1961; the Ivory Coast substituted a member of the Commonwealth in 1964–1965; and the Eastern Europe group included Asian countries from 1956.
As part of a proposed expansion of the Security Council, Brazil, Germany, India and Japan, collectively the Group of 4 or G4 nations, are seeking permanent representation on this body.
On 1 January 2014, the following changes in membership of the council occurred as a result of an election held in 2013:
|Regional group||Outgoing member||Incoming member|
|Latin American & Caribbean (GRULAC)||Guatemala||Chile|
Membership by Year
|Year||Chinese seat||French seat||Soviet/Russian seat||British seat||American seat|
|1945||Republic of China||French Republic (4th)||Soviet Union||United Kingdom||United States|
|1949||Republic of China (Taiwan)|
|1958||French Republic (5th)|
|1971||People's Republic of China|
|Year||Latin American Seats||Commonwealth Seat|| Eastern European |
& Asian Seat [note 2]
|Middle Eastern Seat||Western European Seat|
|1961||Chile||Turkey||United Arab Republic||Liberia [note 3]|
|1964||Bolivia||Ivory Coast[note 5]||Czechoslovakia|
List by number of years as Security Council member
This list contains the 130 United Nations member states so far elected to the United Nations Security Council, including the five permanent members, all listed by number of years each country has so far spent on the UNSC. Of all the members, 6 have so far ceased to exist, leaving the list with 124 modern nations. These, combined with the 69 modern nations that have never been elected to the UNSC to date (see Non-members, below), make up the entirety of the 193 current members of the UN.
Years on the Security Council, as of 2014, including current year where relevant :
Indicates permanent member
Indicates current elected member (2014)
Indicates former United Nations member
|Years [note 8]||Country||First Year||Most Recent Year||Regional Group||Notes|
|68||United Kingdom||1946||2014||WEOG||Permanent member|
|68||United States||1946||2014||WEOG||Permanent member|
|45||Soviet Union||1946||1991||E. European||Former permanent member, replaced by Russian Federation|
|43||People's Republic of China||1971||2014||Asia-Pacific||Permanent member|
|25||Republic of China||1946||1971||Asian||Former permanent member, replaced by People's Republic of China|
|23||Russian Federation||1991||2014||E. European||Permanent member|
|18||Argentina||1948||2014||GRULAC||Current membership of Security Council expires in December 2014|
|10||Australia||1946||2014||WEOG||Current membership of Security Council expires in December 2014|
|10||Germany||1977||2012||WEOG||Includes 4 years when the Federal Republic of Germany consisted only of West Germany|
|9||Chile||1952||2014||GRULAC||Current membership of Security Council expires 31 December 2015|
|9||Egypt||1946||1997||African (Arabic)||Includes 2 years with the seat held in the name of the United Arab Republic, of which for more than 15 months UAR served as the name of modern day Egypt|
|9||Nigeria||1966||2014||African||Current membership of Security Council expires 31 December 2015|
|7||Syria||1947||2003||Asia-Pacific (Arabic)||Includes one year (1961) during which the United Arab Republic was a member, for the greater part of which Syria was a member of that union|
|7||Yugoslavia||1950||1989||E. European||Predecessor of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia|
|6||Ukraine||1948||2001||E. European||Includes 4 years of membership under the name of Ukrainian SSR. Additionally, Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union during its 45 years of Security Council membership|
|5||Jordan||1965||2014||Asia-Pacific (Arabic)||Current membership of Security Council expires 31 December 2015|
|4||Burkina Faso||1984||2009||African||For first 7 months of membership of the Security council in 1984 was known as Upper Volta.|
|4||Republic of the Congo||1986||2007||African|
|4||Republic of Korea||1996||2014||Asia-Pacific||Current membership of Security Council expires in December 2014|
|4||Rwanda||1994||2014||African||Current membership of Security Council expires in December 2014|
|4||Zaire||1982||1991||African||Now known as Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|3||Czechoslovakia||1964||1979||E. European||Predecessor of Czech Republic and Slovakia|
|2||Azerbaijan||2012||2013||E. European||Was part of the Soviet Union during its 45 years of Security Council membership|
|2||Bosnia and Herzegovina||2010||2011||E. European||Was also part of the SFR Yugoslavia during its 7 years of Security Council membership|
|2||Byelorussian SSR||1974||1975||E. European||Now known as Belarus|
|2||23x15px Ceylon||1960||1961||Asia-Pacific||Now known as Sri Lanka|
|2||Croatia||2008||2009||E. European||Was also part of the SFR Yugoslavia during its 7 years of Security Council membership|
|2||Czech Republic||1994||1995||E. European||Was also part of Czechoslovakia during its 3 years of Security Council membership|
|2||East Germany||1980||1981||E. European||Now subsumed into Germany, which has 5 years of Security Council membership since it has included the former territory of East Germany|
|2||Luxembourg||2013||2014||WEOG||Current membership of Security Council expires in December 2014|
|2||Singapore||2001||2002||Asia-Pacific||Was also part of Malaysia for several months of 1965 during its membership of the Security Council|
|2||Slovakia||2006||2007||E. European||Was also part of Czechoslovakia during its 3 years of Security Council membership|
|2||Slovenia||1998||1998||E. European||Was also part of the SFR Yugoslavia during its 7 years of Security Council membership|
|2||Trinidad and Tobago||1985||1986||GRULAC|
|2||United Arab Emirates||1986||1987||Asia-Pacific (Arabic)|
|2||United Arab Republic||1961||1962||African (Arabic)||Predecessor of Syria and Egypt|
|2||Yemen||1990||1991||Asia-Pacific (Arabic)||The entity elected, and which held the Security Council seat for the first five months of membership, was South Yemen: unification with North Yemen occurred during the time of membership.|
|1||Chad||2014||2014||African (Arabic)||Was a colony of France from 1900 to 11 August 1960; Current membership of Security Council expires in December 2015|
|1||Liberia||1961||1961||African||Served only one year[note 9]|
|1||Lithuania||2014||2014||E. European||Was part of the Soviet Union from 3 August 1940 to 11 March 1990; Current membership of Security Council expires in December 2015|
The following countries have made known their applications for future United Nations Security Council membership:
|2014||Angola||Fiji, Malaysia||–||Venezuela||New Zealand, Spain, Turkey|
|2015||Egypt, Senegal||Bangladesh, Japan||Ukraine||Uruguay||–|
|2016||Kenya, Seychelles||Kazakhstan, Thailand||–||?||Sweden, Italy, the Netherlands|
|2018||?||Indonesia, Maldives||–||?||Belgium, Germany, Israel|
|2021||?||Bahrain, United Arab Emirates||Albania||?||–|
|2027||?||Republic of Korea||?||?||–|
As of July 2011, there are currently 193 members of the United Nations and five permanent members of the Security Council. The other ten seats are assigned amongst the remaining 188 members. As a result, many members have never been on the Security Council. The following list is a summary of all countries, currently 69 modern nations and three historical ones, that have never been a member of the United Nations Security Council. The three historical UN members listed are Tanganyika, Zanzibar, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Indicates former United Nations member
|UN Member state||Regional Group||Security Council membership as part of another entity|
|Antigua and Barbuda||GRULAC||Was a colony of the United Kingdom from 1632 to 1 November 1980|
|Armenia||E. European||Was part of the Soviet Union from 29 November 1920 to 25 December 1991|
|Bahamas||GRULAC||Was a colony of the United Kingdom from 1717 to 10 July 1973|
|Barbados||GRULAC||Was a colony of the United Kingdom from 1625 to 30 November 1966|
|Belize||GRULAC||Was a colony of the United Kingdom from 1862 to 21 September 1981|
|Brunei||Asia-Pacific||Was a protectorate of the United Kingdom from 1888 to 1984, and was occupied by Japan from 1941 to 1945|
|Cambodia||Asia-Pacific||Was a colony of France from 1863 to 9 November 1953|
|Central African Republic||African||Was a colony of France from 1894 to 13 August 1960|
|Comoros||African||Was a colony of France from 1841 to 6 July 1975|
|Cyprus||Asia-Pacific||Was a colony of the United Kingdom from 5 November 1914 to 16 August 1960|
|Democratic People's Republic of Korea||Asia-Pacific|
|Dominica||GRULAC||Was a colony of the United Kingdom from 1783 to 3 November 1978|
|Equatorial Guinea||African||Equatorial Guinea was a colony of Spain until 1968, but Spain's first term on the UNSC was in 1969|
|Eritrea||African||Was under the administration of the United Kingdom from 1941 to 1947, then a United Nations Trust Territory from 1947 to 1952, then part of Ethiopia from 1952 to 24 May 1993|
|Estonia||E. European||Was part of the Soviet Union from 1944 to 20 August 1991|
|Fiji||Asia-Pacific||Was a colony of the United Kingdom from 1874 to 10 October 1970|
|Georgia||E. European||Was part of the Soviet Union from 25 February 1921 to 25 December 1991|
|Grenada||GRULAC||Was a colony of the United Kingdom from 1763 to 7 February 1974|
|Israel||None / WEOG[note 10]||Was a League of Nations mandate under United Kingdom administration from 25 April 1920 to 14 May 1948|
|Kazakhstan||Asia-Pacific||Was part of the Soviet Union from 26 April 1920 to 25 December 1991|
|Kiribati||Asian / None[note 11]||Was a colony of the United Kingdom from 1892 to 12 July 1979|
|Kyrgyzstan||Asia-Pacific||Was part of the Soviet Union from 1 February 1926 to 25 December 1991|
|Laos||Asia-Pacific||Was a colony of France from 1893 to 19 July 1949|
|Latvia||E. European||Was part of the Soviet Union from 5 August 1940 to 21 August 1991|
|Lesotho||African||Was a colony of the United Kingdom from 1884 to 4 October 1966|
|Macedonia||E. European||Was part of Yugoslavia from 29 November 1943 to 3 April 1993|
|Malawi||African||Was a colony of the United Kingdom from 1891 to 6 July 1964|
|Maldives||Asia-Pacific||Was a colony of the United Kingdom from 1887 to 26 July 1965|
|Marshall Islands||Asia-Pacific||Was part of the League of Nations South Pacific Mandate under Japanese administration from 28 June 1919 to 17 July 1947, then part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands under the administration of the United States from 17 July 1947 to 21 October 1986|
|23x15px Federated States of Micronesia||Asia-Pacific||Was part of the League of Nations South Pacific Mandate under Japanese administration from 28 June 1919 to 17 July 1947, then part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands under the administration of the United States from 17 July 1947 to 3 November 1986|
|Moldova||E. European||Was part of the Soviet Union from 28 June 1940 to 25 December 1991|
|Montenegro||E. European||Was part of Yugoslavia from 29 November 1943 to 28 April 1992 [note 12]|
|Mozambique||African||Mozambique was a colony of Portugal from 1498 to 25 June 1975, but Portugal's first term on the UNSC was in 1979|
|Myanmar||Asia-Pacific||Was a colony of the United Kingdom from 1824 to 4 January 1948|
|Nauru||Asia-Pacific||Was a United Nations Trust Territory administered by the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand from 1 January 1946 to 31 January 1968|
|Palau||Asia-Pacific||Was part of the League of Nations South Pacific Mandate under Japanese administration from 28 June 1919 to 17 July 1947, then part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands under the administration of the United States from 17 July 1947 to 1 October 1994|
|Papua New Guinea||Asia-Pacific||Was administered by Australia in the case of the Territory of Papua from 1905, the Territory of New Guinea as a League of Nations mandate from 1919 and as a unified Territory of Papua and New Guinea from 1949 until 16 September 1975|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||GRULAC||Was a colony of the United Kingdom from 1713 to 19 September 1983|
|Saint Lucia||GRULAC||Was a colony of the United Kingdom from 1803 to 22 February 1979|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||GRULAC||Was a colony of the United Kingdom from 1783 to 27 October 1979|
|Samoa||Asia-Pacific||Was a League of Nations mandate under the administration of New Zealand from 17 December 1920 to 25 January 1947, then a United Nations Trust Territory under the administration of New Zealand from 25 January 1947 to 1 January 1962|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||African||São Tomé and Príncipe was a colony of Portugal from 1471 to 12 July 1975, but Portugal's first term on the UNSC was in 1979|
|Saudi Arabia||Asia-Pacific||Saudi Arabia was elected in the 2013 election, but declined the seat.|
|Serbia||E. European||Was part of Yugoslavia from 31 January 1946 to 27 April 1992 [note 13]|
|23x15px Seychelles||African||Was a colony of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 29 June 1976|
|Solomon Islands||Asia-Pacific||Was a colony of the United Kingdom from 1893 to 7 July 1978|
|South Sudan||African||Was part of Sudan from the country's independence from the United Kingdom and Egypt on 1 January 1956 to 9 July 2011|
|Suriname||GRULAC||Was a colony of the Netherlands from 1667 to 25 November 1975|
|Swaziland||African||Was a colony of the United Kingdom from 1902 to 6 September 1968|
|Tajikistan||Asia-Pacific||Was part of the Soviet Union from 14 October 1924 to 25 December 1991|
|Tanganyika||Commonwealth Seat||Was a League of Nations mandate under the administration of the United Kingdom from 20 July 1922 to 11 December 1946, then a United Nations Trust Territory under the administration of the United Kingdom until 9 December 1962, then independent until federation with Zanzibar to form Tanzania|
|Timor-Leste||Asia-Pacific||During the existence of the United Nations, Timor Leste has been a colony of Portugal (until 28 November 1975) and occupied by Indonesia (until 1999); Indonesia was a Security Council member in 1995-6.|
|Tonga||Asia-Pacific||Was a protectorate of the United Kingdom from 18 May 1900 to 4 June 1970|
|Turkmenistan||Asia-Pacific||Was part of the Soviet Union from 13 May 1925 to 8 December 1991|
|Tuvalu||Asia-Pacific||Was a colony of the United Kingdom from 1892 to 1 October 1978|
|Uzbekistan||Asia-Pacific||Was part of the Soviet Union from 13 May 1925 to 25 December 1991|
|Vanuatu||Asia-Pacific||Was a Condominium under joint sovereignty of the United Kingdom and France from 1906 to 30 July 1980|
|Zanzibar||Commonwealth Seat||Was a colony of the United Kingdom from 27 August 1896 to 10 December 1963, then independent until federation with Tanganyika to form Tanzania on 26 April 1964.|
|FR Yugoslavia / Serbia and Montenegro||E. European||Was part of Yugoslavia from 29 November 1943 to 27 April 1992|
- United Nations Regional Groups
- Member states of the United Nations
- List of members of the United Nations Economic and Social Council
- List of members of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights
- "Asian group of nations at UN changes its name to Asia-Pacific group", Radio New Zealand International, 2011-08-31.
- The Eastern Europe group included Asian countries from 1956 onwards
- Liberia took the place of the Western European country in 1961
- Morocco took the place of the Middle Eastern country in 1963–1964
- Côte d'Ivoire took the place of a member of the Commonwealth in 1964–1965
- At the time of election, and until August 1984, the country was known as Republic of Upper Volta.
- The election was secured by South Yemen, and in May 1990, during its membership of the Security Council, it unified with North Yemen to form the single country of Yemen.
- Table shows years completed or in progress. Each term on the Council consist of 2 years. Any odd number of years are countries currently serving the first year of a term, countries with terms between 1956 and 1967, when the order of the council changed, or the three countries (Mexico, Egypt and the Netherlands) who had the first terms in 1946 and changed in 1947
- Liberia retired after one year following an agreement reached on the 15th Session. Ireland was elected for the remainder of the two-year term.
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- As of May 2006, Kiribati is not a member of any regional group
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- Serbia was also part of FR Yugoslavia and of Serbia and Montenegro from 27 April 1992 to 5 June 2006, but these entities were not members of the Security Council
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