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Welcome to “Into the Vault: 75 Years of UN Audiovisual Heritage,” where you will have a chance to explore hidden treasures from the United Nations audiovisual library.

This month we will be exploring the most widely known of the UN’s 6 main organs – the Security Council.

I declare the council duly constituted and in session.

The UN audiovisual library holds nearly 10,000 film, video, and audio assets relating to the Security Council.

Mr. President, the Security Council today begins it’s history. It will be a history momentous in the consequences for the human race. This is a new beginning in the long conquest for peace and security.

All meetings have been recorded in a wide range of formats from film to video to digital signal. As technology changed, so did the recording and archiving technologies employed by the United Nations. These recordings are critical to the understanding of the works and procedures of the Security Council, and to the transparency and accountability of the United Nations.

The calling together of the Security Council will not by itself establish peace.

Article 1 of the UN Charter states that the first purpose of the organization is to “maintain international peace and security,”

Our fellow members of the united nations have placed in our hands the primary but no the sole responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.

With such monumental tasks at hand, all eyes are on the Security Council. The Security Council can propose peaceful settlement of disputes by various means including cease fires, negotiation, mediation, and peacekeeping operations. The Council may also impose sanctions and, as a last resort, can authorize the use of military force. Additionally, the Council recommends new member states to the General Assembly, approves changes to the UN Charter, and is the only UN organ with the power to issue binding resolutions to member states.

Unlike the General Assembly, where each member state is entitled to an individual vote, the 15 members of the Security Council are conferred with the responsibility to act on behalf of all member states. This can lead to moments of discord.

Threats to international peace and security arise not only from armed conflict but can encompass a wide range of issues from climate change to violence against women and children, from genocide to public health crises like HIV/AIDS.

The Security Council will discuss a health issue as a security threat.

Since its inception, the Security Council has issued nearly 3000 resolutions, and continues to work towards the goals of peacemaking and peacekeeping.

So that we may find the means of living together in peace, with one another, as good neighbors.

Thanks for joining us! We hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into the vault and into the history of the United Nations.

The UN Audiovisual Library's mission is to provide access to and preserve the audiovisual archives from over 75 years of the history of the Organization.

For more information and for access to more audiovisual heritage materials visit us at

Stay tuned for more treasures from “The Vault”


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