Above all else, the aim of the United Nations is to save mankind from ‘the scourge of war’. A product of 1945, the UN Charter was signed by ﬁfty countries less than two months prior to the Hiroshima atom-bombing. It was a response to the loss of sixty million lives in two world wars. The unique responsibility of the Security Council to determine and react to threats to international peace and security was enshrined in international law.
Today, almost sixty years after its founding, 191 states belong to the organisation. Its purpose continues to be to prevent conﬂict and promote global stability through collective security.
However, the nature of the scourge of war from which mankind must be saved has changed. The threat to international security posed by armed conﬂict amongst states has receded. Clandestine activities, such as global terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, now challenge state security.